Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Yowler Foul-up - David Lee Stone

The second of David Lee Stone's Illmoor Chronicles is The Yowler Foul-up. It's five years since the disastrous Rat Catastrophe struck Dullitch and Duke Modeset is no longer the city's ruler. Instead he's down on his luck and has only his faithful manservant Pegrand, his secretary Hopkirk (who prefers sleeping to anything else), and Hopkirk's daughter Flicka, to serve him.

In Dullitch the cultish Yowler brotherhood is plotting to resurrect the evil Yowler, God of Stones, who will turn the people of Dullitch into rocks. Modeset finds himself attempting to thwart this evil plan with the help of a part-vampire (on his mother's side) Jereth Obegarde, the former thief-turned-gravedigger Jimmy Quickstint, and Flicka Hopkirk.

In this book we get to see other parts of Illmoor besides Dullitch and the Gleaming Mountains of the first book. The characters visit Fogrise, Modeset's home town, and Plunge, a town on the other side of the Mountains of Mavokhan from Fogrise, although these towns are only lightly sketched.

The most interesting character in this book, is the part-vampire (known as a loftwing) Obegarde, who is a private detective. He has the ability to heal others (and himself) via his touch, the ability to recover from all non-anointed wounds, and the remarkable ability to convincingly appear dead. It's Obegarde who persuades Modeset to get involved in stopping the plot to turn the citizens of Dullitch into stone, since Modeset doesn't actually like Dullitch or its inhabitants. I'm hoping we'll see more of Obegarde in future books.

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