The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Both novels are set in a universe in which magical powers are achievable by concentrated study and by harnessing the powers of demons, supernatural beings from the realms of Fire, Water, Air, and Ice. At the beginning of Sorcerer’s Son, the sorcerer Smada Rezhyk, who enslaves fire demons to gain power over metal, is peering uneasily at his sorcerous neighbors. To protect himself, he has proposed marriage to the Lady Delivev, who has no demon slaves but whose sorcery is based on more natural, gentle control of weaving creatures and woven objects. Her polite refusal sends Rezhyk into a fit of paranoia, an occupational hazard among sorcerers.

To distract Delivev while he weaves metal clothing that will not be under her influence, Rezhyk sends Gildrum, one of his demons, to her in the guise of a handsome, wounded knight. Gildrum bears enough of Rezhyk’s semen to impregnate her. The seduction is successful, but Gildrum is genuinely attracted to Delivev and leaves her only because he must do as Rezhyk commands.

Delivev’s son is called Cray. His childhood is happy, but as he grows up he determines to become a knight like his supposed father and to find out why his father has never returned. Unknowingly, he receives supernatural encouragement in his quest, whenever Gildrum can steal moments from Rezhyk’s service. Cray becomes friends with Feldar Sepwin, a young man who is an outcast because of mismatched eyes.

Even after Gildrum fakes evidence that the knight is dead, Cray and Feldar continue on their quest to what was supposedly his home castle but discover that no such knight had served there. The two friends go to the Seer Helaine’s cave to learn the origin of the shield Gildrum left at the knight’s supposed grave. Cray again fails to find news of his father at the castle from which the shield came, but the kindly lord there gives him training so that he might become a knight himself. Cray, however, must leave to follow his obsession. Following the Seer’s advice, Cray and Feldar explore the supposed grave, but they find no body. Realizing that magic is involved, Cray decides that the only way he can find his father is to become a sorcerer himself.

Because Cray’s mother is unable to give him the training he needs, he offers himself as apprentice to Rezhyk, who by now has become completely paranoid but who fears to reveal his guilt by rejecting Cray immediately. Instead, Rezhyk bullies Cray mercilessly, attempting to make the young man quit voluntarily. Gildrum befriends Cray, but Cray figures out the identity of his biological father and...

(The entire section is 1065 words.)