Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Lion of Senet (Second Sons Trilogy: Book 1)

By Jennifer Fallon



Since the Age of Shadows ended, the people of Ranadon have lived under the merciless heat of two suns and the tyranny of Antonov, the Lion of Senet. Consumed by his lust for power and his unshakable belief in the capricious, almighty Goddess, Antonov’s rule is absolute. Only one man has the intelligence and will to break that hold…a man who could be King.

Suddenly widowed, Morna Provin, Duchess of Elcast, has lost her only protector. With her son banished for an unspeakable crime, she faces a horrifying fate at the hands of the Lion of Senet as retribution for her relationship with the heretic Johan Thorn. But it is only part of a cunning scheme to lure her son, Dirk Provin, back into the fold so Antonov can consolidate his power once and for all.

With his mother’s life at stake, Dirk Provin must emerge from hiding in the Baenlands and return to Elcast—setting in motion a rebellion that will expose long-buried secrets and ignite festering hatreds. For a ruler’s fears and a madman’s prophecy will start Dirk on a quest for truth that will spark a fierce battle between two very different men: one who believes only what his five senses tell him, the other obsessed by his faith in the divine. It is a clash that will bring to light a revelation that may shatter them all.

*Blurb source* Random House
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Purchase ~ "The Lion of Senet" ~ from AmazonThe Lion of Senet
The Lion of Senet (Second Sons Trilogy: Book 1)
Lion of Senet (Second Sons Trilogy, #1)
| ISBN-10: 0553586688
| ISBN-13: 9780553586688
| Genre: Science Fantasy
| Content: Hero, Adventure, 16+
| Publisher: Spectra; Reprint edition (March 30, 2004)
| US Cover Illustrations: John Taylor Dismukes
| Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Read an Extract
| Rating: 5 Stars

Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane

Ranadon is a volatile planet with two suns. Tidal waves and earthquakes are normal occurrences and volcanoes erupt on a regular basis. And yet, by the will of the Goddess, the people here manage not only to survive but prosper. That is until one of the suns vanishes, plugging the world into chaos. With the survival of two countries on the line, answers are sought and power is gained in the seeking.

Three acolytes go in search for answers to the Age of Shadows. Thinking their Goddess is displeased they believe the answer lies in finding a way to appease her. What they find however is that science, not religion has the answers they seek. Two of the acolytes, Belagren and Ella, see a chance to seize ultimate power so they concoct a lie to end all lies. Claiming that Belagren has received a vision they create a ritual which requires the sacrifice of the Lion of Senet's newborn son. By knowing the exact time the second sun will reappear and timing the ritual exactly, Belagren gains both ultimate power over worship of the Goddess and the ear of the Lion himself. The third acolyte, Nevis, has second thoughts about the deception and commits suicide, or so it is believed. His death leaves Belagren with a big problem. Without his mathematical talents she has no way to predict the next Age of Shadows and runs the risk of losing all she has worked for.

Meanwhile Dhevyn, a country of islands, its people starving, its resources almost gone appeals to Senet for help. But the price of that help comes dear. Senet agrees to help the people of Dhevyn, but at the cost of their freedom to rule themselves. King Johan Thorn of Deyvn refuses to believe that the Goddess would ever rquire the sacrifice of a human life and speaks out, only to lose his throne and almost his life in the process. The Lion of Senet puts Johan's sister on the Dhevyn throne and takes her daughter as hostage against her good behavior but the struggle for independence goes on. This tale is about that struggle.

This is a wonderful story filled with wonderful characters and a well crafted world. Religious manipulation and political intrigue fill the pages along with villains you can't help but hate and victims you can't help but sympathize with. Dirk, second son of the Duke of Elcast finds himself caught up in events that started well before he was born. The main focus of this tale is on him and the development of his character as he comes to grip with one surprise after another. There is a long list of secondary characters, each with their own agenda, but Jennifer Fallon has a talent for making complicated plot lines easy to follow. You won't find any large info dumps or tedious telling, instead she doles out back story in short bursts and only when the story calls for it. That is one of the reasons why her writing flows so well.

Now as for content. The main characters are fairly young, 15-16 years old, but there is some violence and alot of sexual content. Although it is not overly graphic, sex forms one of the main elements of the story. Belagren, as part of her newly formed religion, creates seasonal rituals which utilize a powerful aphrodisiac resulting in massive orgies. These rituals also include human sacrifice patterned after the sacrifice of the Lion's son. Both of these elements form one of the main reasons why the people of Dhevyn chafe at the rule of Senet so they are necessary to the plot. You also won't find any magic. This is more of an alternate world fantasy then a traditional sword and sorcery or high fantasy type story. Not that it suffers in any way for the lack of magic, but if that is the type of fantasy you are looking for, you won't find it here. What you will find is a well told tale of the corruption of religion, the lengths people will go to hide the truth from themselves, the angst of betrayal, the will to survive against all odds, the inner fortitude it takes to endure hardship and the determination required to pursue what you know is right, even if it means your death. Now if you'll forgive me, I'm off to read book two, I can't wait to see what Dirk gets up to next!

Series Summary
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Librarything rating 4.07/5

Amazon Rating 3.8 out of 5 stars
(42 customer reviews)


What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: The Lion of Senet (Second Sons Trilogy)The Lion of Senet

Audible: No

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Science Fantasy Book Review of The Lion of Senet (Second Sons Trilogy: Book 1) by Jennifer Fallon - Reviewed by Mulluane - on July 27 2013 - Rating: 5.0




Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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