A Fantasy Series Book Review
Genre: Epic Fantasy, 16+
Publisher: Tor Books (April 6, 2004)
Mass Market Paperback: 768 pages
Rumors have reached Hawk Haven. Melina Shield has married the nominal ruler of New Kelvin, The Healed One. Unsure of what this portends, King Tedric decides to send an experienced group of adventurers into New Kelvin to discover what, if any, power this gives Melina and how much of a potential threat she might become to her former daughter's rule. But thats not the only trouble that is brewing. West, in the Iron Mountains, a new colony is being formed on the ashes of Firekeeper's former home, and the Royal beasts are less then pleased with this development.
The same group as in the last book venture once more into New Kelvin in search of answers. Grateful Peace joins the group, disguised as a native guide and Citrine, Melina Shield's emotionally damaged daughter tags along as Grateful's *son*. It is hoped by Citrine's doctors that a visit with dear old mom might shake her out of her weird behavior. Plus as a reward for the group making this trip King Tedric promises to remove the colonists from the Iron Mountains and set a fort in place to prevent any more such expeditions.
The flow is back in this novel. I did not have the trouble muddling through it like I did the second book. Actually I think it read closer to the first in pace, depth, intrigue and suspense. The political aspects were back at the forefront as we learned all about Toriovico, The Healed One and more details about New Kelvin, its government and its formation. There are some definite surprises in store here, the challenges of this trip are upped a few notches and I was pleased to find myself steadily turning pages to see what happened next.
Fair warning though. Don't expect much in the way of character development, there isn't any except maybe in the case of poor Citrine. Firekeeper remains uniquely herself, more wolf then human, (which is to me one of the best parts)the romance line goes nowhere, sorry romantics, and nobody else much changes either. But I'm actually going to defend this choice a little. For one thing, not much time has passed. Its only been a year since the story started. I don't expect major character development to occur rapidly when 3 volumes only cover a year's time. My second defense is its ok, in my opinion, especially in a long series, to change focus from book to book. Its less boring that way. The focus in this story is very clearly world building, back story, adventure and drama. I feel that if you go into the book realizing this, you won't be disappointed. There is GREAT world building, back story and drama making it well worth the read.
The overall content of this book isn't extreme. There are no sex scenes, some violence and mayhem but nothing over the top. There is however a wealth of vocabulary. Jane Lindskold obviously loves words, and knows how to use them. I want to also add that these are some of the best edited books I've ever seen. I'm used to seeing numerous grammar, spelling and syntax mistakes and thats not the case here. Either Jane Lindskold or her editor, or both, are extremely talented. The vocabulary level in this case is what makes me label it mature young adult, not the content.
All in all, a better book then book two. I do suggest you read book two however, even though each book in this series is for the most part self contained, you will have a better understanding of what is going on if you read them in order.
Other books in the series
Shelfari Rating 4+/5
Librarything Rating 4.11/5
Amazon Rating 4 out of 5 stars
(13 Customer Reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: The Dragon of Despair
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