A Game of Universe

by Eric S. Nylund

Published by New English Library (UK)
U.K. 5.99
378 Pages
ISBN 0-340-64949-6


This is a standalone fantasy/science fiction novel.

The main character is Germain, an assassin/wizard, who works for a Umbra Corp, a major galaxy spanning corporation. Germain's major skill, as a "muse", is the ability to absorb the personality of others, inheriting their skills and memories.

He is offered more than he could earn in his lifetime, by the head of another corporation,to join a quest for the Holy Grail. This Erybus Alexander needs the Grail to fulfill an agreement, he sold his soul 1,700 years ago and it is time to pay up.

I picked up this novel because I like Nylund's previous novel "Pawns Dream". "A Game of Universe" has an interesting beginning that hooked me into the story easily. The title refers to a card game played in casinos of this Universe. He has created a fantastic universe for this novel, peopled by heroes, witches, wizards, and cyborgs. The mixture of fantasy elements and science fiction works quite well, even if it is not completely believable.

The technology is not taken too seriously and the plot has a clever ending. I liked the interaction between Germain and the personalities that he houses in his head, and the problems he encounters when one of them tries to take control of his body. An new, and interesting, angle to the quest for the Holy Grail.

Overall an excellent effort by Nylund. 8 out of 10.

P.F. 19th May 1997

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Farris Systems 1996