Friday, November 25, 2011

Forgotten Books: D'Shai -- Joel Rosenberg

Canadian writers? Well, I'll just cheat a little. Joel Rosenberg was, after all, born in Canada (Winnipeg, to be precise), so he should count, even if he grew up in the U. S., right?

I read a lot of Rosenberg's books, and I enjoyed them all. D'Shai is the first of two fantasy/mystery novels set in the world of D'Shai, a remarkably detailed place with a lot of Asian flavor, filled with magic. Some people there can raise kazuh, a power which enables them perform spectacularly well in one of the 52 vocations. Kami Khuzud, born into a family of acrobats, can't raise kazuh, which makes him a typical fantasy hero, the one who doesn't quite live up to expectations but who feels destined for better things. Add to that the fact that he's in love with a woman above his station, and you have a pretty familiar setup.

But Rosenberg's book is anything but typical. There's an emotionally involving murder, and Kami sets out to solve it. In doing so, he raises kazuh and discovers that he has a vocation heretofore unknown. He's a Truth Seeker, or to put it another way, a Great Detective.

I really liked this book and its sequel, The Hour of the Octopus. If you want to read a mystery that's really different, you can do a lot worse than these two.

3 comments:

Dale said...

D'Shai is one of my favorites of Joel's books. And he was a dual citizen, so I think he counts as Canadian.

Richard R. said...

This and the sequel are my two favorite books by Rosenberg, and two of my favorite fantasy-mysteries, period. I've read them both two or three times and oh how I wish Rosenberg had written more in this world and about these characters!!!! Terrific pick, Bill. Anyone who hasn't read these should go in search of them asap.

George said...

HOUR OF THE OCTOPUS...I must have it!