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Reviews of 'Hederick the Theocrat'

Hederick the Theocrat

by Ellen Dodge Severson
Villains, Volume 4


Reviews of 'Hederick the Theocrat'

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Reviewer: Darlaten

Rating: Stars

Henderick the Theocrat is the background story of Henderick, the High Theocrat of Solace. The novel tells of the rise to power and how, from a boy to an adult, Henderick managed to persuade people to worship the new Seeker Gods.

The novel provides excellent details on the Seeker religion: who are the gods in the Pantheon; what the religious sect believes in; what are the rules; and so forth. If you are looking for background information into Seekers - this book is a must read.

The novel opens with Hendericks' childhood. It takes place in a little village called Garlund. Henderick's mother claims to be "touched" by a new god called Tiolanthe (not a Seeker God). A Seeker priest called Tarscenian comes to the village to lead the people to worship the Seeker gods. What follows is a conversion by Henderick to the religion of Seekerism.

Henderick's long-lost sister Ancilla, who is now a white-robed mage, returns to the village to challenge Tarscenian. Tarscenian repents and realizes that the Old Gods do, in fact, exist. This betrayal sets off Henderick on a long road of bloodshead, slavery, brutality, and (in my opinion) insanity - all in the name of his religion.

After the childhood part, the story shifts to the time when Henderick is the High Theocrat of Solace. Here, Henderick tries to exterminate all mages and sources of magic. Anyone who is against him and his beliefs is killed or sold into slavery. Ancilla and Tarscenian try to stop Henderick from completing this extermination.

The story continues until the time of his downfall in Solace with the collapse of his temple. How this occurs makes for a great story filled with: excellent battle scenes, lots of magic and illusions, betrayal, and intrique.

Aside from a very enjoyable story, the book features many unique characters: Mynx, a human theif; Kifflewit Burthistle, a kender; and Phytos, a centaur. There are also lots of creatures (some of which are not typically featured in Dragonlance novels) : an annis hag; a greenhag; a materbill; hobgoblins, goblins, and a koalinth.

I recommend this book if anyone is looking for an interesting read or some background information on the Seekers.

Having said that, there are two aspects of the book that I am disappointed with: (i) while the background information on Henderick is excellent, the transition between the end of this book to the main story line, i.e., Chroniclas Triology, is not great; and (ii) there are lots of graphic death scences described. While this may be fine for older readers - younger readers may find the descriptions a little frightening.

Henderick the Theocract was written by Ellen Dodge Severson and is part of the Villains Series - Volume IV. Pick it up if you can find it. I dont think you will be disappointed!


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