A Science Fantasy Series Summary
This series takes place on a planet named Ranadon. Ranadon is a volatile planet with two suns where tidal waves and earthquakes are normal occurrences and volcanoes erupt frequently. But that is when both suns are shining, when the brightest sun suddenly disappears things get much worse. Crops fail, the ocean recedes, livestock starts dying, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions increase. The religious leaders decide that the Goddess is displeased, a way must be found to return to her favor so three acolytes go in search for answers to the Age of Shadows. 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 control of the religion of the Goddess so they come up with a scheme. 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 the worship of the Goddess and the ear of the Lion himself. The third acolyte, Nevis, drugged by Ella to keep him complacent, 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, just off the coast of Senet, Dhevyn, a country of islands, is having a much more difficult time of things since the oceans provide much of their livelihood and the oceans have receded. Young King Johan Thorn, newly come to his throne, decides to ask 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. Under the guise of rendering aid, the Lion of Senet not only invades the country of Dhevyn but insists that they embrace the new religion created by Belagren. Refusing to believe in a religion which requires human sacrifice and resenting the troops sent into his country, Johan Thorn fights back, and loses against overwhelming odds. The Lion of Senet puts Johan's sister on the Dhevyn throne and takes her daughter as hostage against her good behavior. A resistance movement is born. With few resources, this movement consists of little more then hope but the members are determined that one day, Dhevyn will be free.
This is not your typical sword and sorcery or high fantasy subgenre. This series is more along the lines of science fantasy. There is no magic, very little focus on the military elements and not much of a focus on romance either. (but there is some) What this is is a fascinating look into political intrigue, religious corruption and the indomitable will of people to survive even in the most harsh conditions. It is also a character driven story and you'll find the characters to be very well fleshed out and every bit as unique as the world they live in. There are people who are easy to love, some who are easy to hate and others that are almost impossible to figure out at all. In true Jennifer Fallon style the *evil* characters have understandable motives and the *good* characters are less then perfect. There are layers upon layers of plot going on here and one thing is for sure, her writing is never boring. The pace is fast, the world building consistent and the characterization is superb. If you enjoy a real page turner that is very very hard to put down, this series fits the bill, hands down.
There are several reasons why I feel like this series belongs at the very least in the upper end of the YA spectrum. For one thing sex forms an important part of the new religious rituals designed by Belagren. These same rituals involve human sacrifice and descriptions of people being burned alive. The other reason is the complexity of the plot. I'm not saying a younger teen can't follow it, I'm leaning more towards they won't enjoy following it. Again, that is my opinion and you know what is said about opinions....
There is alot more detail regarding this series and the issues it explores in the individual reviews. Links to each are included above. Let me just close this review by saying this series is a delight to read and has a permanent place on my to be reread over and over again shelf. I highly recommend it to my fellow fantasy lovers.
|Author: Jennifer Fallon|
Genre: Science Fantasy
Content: Hero, Adventure, 16+
Series: Second Sons Trilogy
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Personal Copies
|US Cover Illustrations: John Taylor Dismukes|
AU Cover Illustrations: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
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This Trilogy is available on Kindle
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Science Fantasy Series Summary Review of Second Sons Trilogy by Jennifer Fallon - Reviewed by Mulluane - on September 07 2008 - Rating: of 5 Stars