By Will Boisvert
December 01, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

This Forsaken Earth

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The first mate is a green, nine-foot-tall halftroll, but This Forsaken Earth, the second book in Paul Kearney’s Sea Beggars series is in the Master and Commander vein of high-sea adventure, with wormy-biscuit realism and Captain Rol Cortishane barking crisp nautical commands on his pirate ship Revenant. On shore, the cannon-and-cutlass procedural clashes with the fantasy elements in Kearney’s world of Umer, which feels like Arthurian legends filtered through Highlander. Kearney crafts gripping, richly imagined shipboard scenes, but Rol’s personas (hard-bitten sea dog, mystic demigod) don’t mesh.

This Forsaken Earth

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