Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

The Fate Of The Dwarves The Fate Of The Dwarves
by Markus Heitz
Orbit

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

The Fate of the Dwarves is the fourth and final instalment of German author Markus Heitz’s epic saga that began, for English readers, three years ago with Dwarves.

When the previous volume, The Revenge of the Dwarves, ended there was an obvious set of plotline cliff-hangers for a follow on volume – The Fate of the Dwarves is that ending.

The three previous books have been Tungdil’s story; he was the viewpoint character, with sidebar chapters to showcase the supporting cast. This time around the principal character is Bo´ndil Ireheart.

Right from the start of The Fate of the Dwarves there is a significant cloud over the identity of Tungdil, who has returned from the black abyss in which he was trapped at the end of The Revenge of the Dwarves. Is he the real hero back from the black abyss? Has the black abyss, with its constant horrors and struggles corrupted our hero? Or is Tungdil, his actions and the manner of his return just a huge scam? These questions loom large in the book, but the unrevealed [to the reader] thoughts of Tungdil, even though he is there front and centre in the action, is simultaneously most unusual – representing a stylistic change by the author – and quite vexing.

In the foreword to The Fate of the Dwarves there is some evidence that Herr Heitz became bored with the series and following some clamour from fans to tell more on the world of Girdlegard and its hero nonpareil, Tungdil Goldhand, had decided to write a conclusive ending to the story. What has resulted is a less than gripping travelogue through Girdlegard, punctuated with moments of violence, as our band of heroes gather forces to deal with the all too pressing problem of the black abyss. Indeed I found that the scenes set at the black abyss were where the author had invested his emotional energy, with the other scenes merely backdrop.

I regret to report that The Fate of the Dwarves is a less than worthy conclusion to the saga of the dwarves. This is a book by an author whose heart was never in the project and that shows – a real pity because Herr Heitz is capable of so much better. Read to complete the cycle, but don’t expect to be enthralled.

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