Könyvkritika

Kritika: Michael J. Sullivan: Avempartha –Az elfek tornya [Riyria krónikák 2.]


Michael J. Sullivan Riyria-krónikák című hatkötetes sorozatának második kötete a tavasszal megjelent Avempartha – Az elfek tornya. Azok kedvéért, akiknek nem ugrik be elsőre, egy kis ismétlés: a Riyria krónikák első kötetében, a Trónbitorlókban két különleges képességű tolvaj, Royce Melborn és Hadrian Blackwater a melengári királyság trónjának sorsát rendezte el.

Rk-Et_borito.inddAz elfek tornya középpontjában ezúttal egy világvégi kis falu van, ahol éjszakánként egy bestia gyilkolja az embereket. Egyedül egy titokzatos karddal lehet legyőzni, ami egy még titokzatosabb, ősi elf toronyban van elrejtve. Egy (végül mégsem annyira) egyszerű helyi lány a két legendás tolvajt béreli fel, hogy szerezzék meg a mágikus fegyvert, és mentsék meg a falut. Miközben Royce egy törp és a mágus Ezrahaddon segítségével a torony rejtélyét igyekszik megfejteni, Hadrian azért küzd, hogy a faluban legyen még valaki életben, mire a kard megkerül. Ezzel egy időben a Novron Egyház egy különös lovagi tornát szervez a környező összes királyság legnagyobb hőseinek, melynek győztese egy birodalom uralkodója lesz. Kezdettől elég nyilvánvaló, hogy hol fog összeérni a két szál, ami meglepően későn történik meg valahol a kétszázadik oldal magasságában. A megoldás sem tartogat túl sok meglepetést, de a korábban (akár a Trónbitorlókban) elhintett utalások és félmondatok összeállnak, így a regény az átgondoltság, jól-felépítettség érzetét kelti. A történet lezárt, kerek egész, önmagában is elolvasható, értelmezhető. Persze azért érdemes a Trónbitorlókkal kezdeni.

Ahogy az első kötetben, Az elfek tornyában is a Riyria-krónikák legnagyobb erőssége a két főhős karaktere. A nagyon különböző külsejű és természetű tolvajpáros szinte bármilyen történetet elvinne a hátán. Royce egyre sötétebb és vadabb, míg Hadrian könnyed-kedves, a gyengék és elesettek örök védelmezője. Ez a különbözőség sok humor forrása, főleg a párbeszédeik során. Ráadásul, ahogy az első kötet alapján várható volt, szép lassan fény derül a két tolvaj múltjára, kilétére, amitől még inkább izgalmas, hús-vér alakoknak tűnnek.

A Trónbitorlókban a Royce és Hadrian mellett megjelenő mellékszereplők haloványak, sablonosak voltak, de a második kötetben néhányan új esélyt kapnak. A mágus Ezrahaddon, ahogy az várható volt, egyértelműen kulcsfigurává válik. A jelenetei lebilincselőek, részben a benne rejlő kettősség miatt (egyszerre nagy múltú varázsló és kezetlen vénember), részben mivel céljait továbbra is rejtély övezi. A melengári Arista szintén visszatérő szereplő, elsőre ránézésre megtestesíti a „vadóc hercegnő” sztereotípiát, de pluszt ad neki, hogy egy kicsit jártas a mágiában egy olyan korban, amelyik rég elfelejtette. Az újonnan megjelenő szereplők, a falubeliek és a nefronita vezetők, pár vonással megrajzolt figurák. Úgy látszik, a mellékalakok akkor kapnak fokozatosan kidolgozottabb karaktert, ha a későbbi kötetekben még fontos szerepük lesz…

A cselekményre a Trónbitorlókban sem lehetett komoly panasz, de Az elfek tornya történetének felépítése sokkal fegyelmezettebbnek hat. Eltűnő mellékszálak helyett különböző indítékkal ugyan, de végeredményben mindenkinek ugyanaz a célja, a bestia megölése. Az egyetlen irányba mutató szálak különösen sodróvá teszik a történetet. Mint az elf tornyot körülvevő folyó: sodrásának nem lehet ellenállni, mindenkit magával ragad.

A jó karakterek és a fordulatos cselekmény mögött Az elfek tornyában végre a regény világáról is többet megtudunk. Egyfelől kezdjük megérteni a mágia (szinte teljes) hiányának történelmi okait, másfelől Arista hercegnő és a lovagi torna történetszála felvázolja a hatalmi viszonyokat. Ráadásul egy ügyes dramaturgiai megoldással szájbarágós magyarázkodás helyett a hercegnő révén – az ő tudatlanságával és kíváncsiságával – csöppenünk bele mindebbe. Így a regényvilág már nem csak felskiccelt hátteret jelent Hadrian és Royce kalandozásaihoz.

A Novron Egyház hatalmi törekvéseinek köszönhetően a tétek is megnőnek: a bestia megölése nem egy jó pénzért elvállalt munka, nem is csak egy falu tragédiája, hanem az Emberek Birodalmának lehetősége, így csupa nagybetűvel. Végre közelebb kerülünk az első kötet fülszövegén ígért nagyszabású, királyságokat porba sújtó eseményekhez és rejtélyekhez. Így a harmadik, októberben megjelenő Nyphron rising című kötetben várhatóan Royce és Hadrian már nem csak a saját sorsának kovácsa lesz, hanem egy birodaloménak is.

Verdikt

Regényvilág 80%
Karakterek 95%
Történet 85%
Final Thoughts

Minőségi fantasy a műfaj legszebb hagyományai szerint az utóbbi évek talán legszimpatikusabb és legszerethetőbb főszereplőivel. Egyszerűen jó olvasni.

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