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| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: Demons, Heroes
| ISBN-10: 0765341301
| ISBN-13: 9780765341303
| Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1st Mass Market Ed edition (September 17, 2001)
| Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
| Cover Artist: Luis Royo
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 4 Stars
This is one of my favorite types of fantasy; classic large-scale battle of good versus evil with magical races. Granted, this type of fantasy is no longer in "fashion" with urban and paranormal taking center stage, but it is the type that developed my love for fantasy so I will likely never grow tired of it.
Fantasy Series Review by Mulluane
(Note) This series was released as a 6 book set in the US but as 2 trilogies in other countries. For the purpose of this review, I am going with the dual trilogy idea and for now, I plan on just reviewing the Axis Trilogy. Also the name of the first book differs. In the US, book one is The Wayfarer Redemption while in other places it was titled Battleaxe.
♦ Now, back to my review. The blurb does not do the book justice (I am finding that few of them do.) Faraday is but one player in this drama, granted an important one, but there are several more who are just, if not more, important then Faraday. As with most first novels in a trilogy, this book contains a lot of setup. There are multiple unique races with different religious views, several different magic systems, extensive world building, a prophecy to be explained, and an impending war. Because of this, the book starts slow. Do not fear though, if you stick out the beginning, the resulting action will more then make up for the slow start.
♦ A partial list of main characters. Axis, Battleaxe of the Seneschal, is at the very heart of this book and a suitably complicated character. His half-brother Duke Borneheld, the War Lord of Achar, hates Axis with a passion and tries everything in his power to see Axis dead. Faraday is the betrothed of Borneheld, in love with Axis and an unwitting player in the prophecy. The Avar, also called the People of the Horn, are a forest dwelling race who revere and protect nature. The Icarii are a beautiful and arrogant winged race who worship the stars and wield powerful magic. The Sentinels are lovable, magical beings who serve the prophecy. The humans, who believe in a religion that calls for the destruction of trees, the power of the plow and the elimination of all things magical. Then we have Gorgrael the Destroyer, determined to rule the world, commander of hordes of mist wraiths and other foul ice based creatures. In Gorgrael, we have, at least partially, an understandable antagonist with actual motives and reasons behind his insanity. I love it when the antagonist is not just a nameless, faceless evil creature who destroys just because he can.
♦ Slow start that builds into a page-turner. You slowly fall in love with the characters and by the end of the book, you find yourself caring about what happens to them. There is a mystery here to be solved - several actually - romance, intrigue, betrayal and loyalty, love and loss, angst and triumph. I can only imagine that the series will just get better from here. The characters are adults. As with any war, there is violence, and as with any romance, there is the possibility of love scenes. None of the content is overly graphic and the bedroom scenes are implied, not detailed. There is a main theme of adults dealing with issues that were caused by dysfunctional childhoods. I am going 16+ on these, not because of graphic content but due to the maturity of the issues explored. As always, that is only my opinion.
♦ I have an ulterior motive for choosing this trilogy for review. Sara Douglass has been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. The best way I know of to show my support is to promote her books. My heart and good wishes go out to her and I hope that she wins her battle. So buy her books or go to her post and leave a comment, meanwhile I am off to read book two, I want to know what happens next!
(Sad update. September 27, 2011 Sara Douglass lost her fight with cancer, robbing the world of a great fantasy writer. Her website stayed up for 2 years but it was taken down in September of 2013. She will be sorely missed.)
Book Two ~ Book Three
Librarything Rating 3.78/5
Amazon Rating 3.4 out of 5 stars
(193 Customer Reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
|Kindle: The Wayfarer Redemption: Book One|
Buy Book: AbeBooks ~ BAM
Amazon: US ~ Canada ~ UK
Epic Fantasy Book Review of Wayfarer Redemption - Battleaxe (Axis Trilogy: Book 1) by Sara Douglass - Reviewed by Mulluane - on December 13 2008 - Rating: of 5 Stars