An Epic Fantasy Series Review
♦ The Story. This tale takes place in a country known as the Quartern where rain has all but stopped falling. There are four quarters. The white quarter, once a vast sea, is now a wasteland of blinding salt, peopled by merchant Alabaster's who are almost as white as the land they call home. The red quarter is a place of red sand, shifting dunes and warrior nomads who travel on monster pedes. (Think centipedes, really really big centipedes.) The Gibber, the poorest quarter, is a stark place where a few scraggly plants and equally scruffy people, struggle to survive Then you have the Scarpen quarter, home to the land's revered and pampered rainlords and stormlords.
Stormlords are the key to surviving in this rainless land. From a distant ocean they create the clouds which ultimately bring rain to the cisterns of the four quarters. They and they alone keep the people from dying a waterless death. But now, when once there were many, only one stormlord remains. Sick, old, dying, the last Stormlord struggles to bring enough rain to keep the quarters alive but time is running out. A new Stormlord must be found before the old lord dies.
♦ The Great. I loved the whole idea behind this tale. Glenda Larke did a superb job with the worldbuilding. Each quarter was well thought out and to my mind, believable. Her attention to detail was amazing. The politics, the livelihoods, the religions, all varied wildly and yet all meshed together in realistic ways. But that is not all. As with all of my favorite Fantasy series, there are great characters, both primary and secondary. Interested yet? Well lets add in unique magic systems with complex structures, rules, limitations and to top it off, physical and moral consequences. All of this combined made for a series that I could literally lose myself in for hours at a time.
♦ The Good. I do have a few annoyances in conjunction with this series and they vary from book to book. Book one was awesome. Perfect setup to what promised to be a tale of truly epic proportions. Book two continued in the same vein but heightened the intensity as several of the quarters go to war with each other. Some of the character development did feel a bit off to me but not enough to stop me from becoming further enmeshed in both the story and its characters.
♦ The Bad. Then we come to book three which is where my real problems start. Book three continued the story in what I felt was an unnatural way. Instead of maintaining or even increasing the tension from Stormlord Rising, Stormlord's Exile slowed way down. More worldbuilding took place, which I enjoyed, but led me to ask new questions, while questions I hoped would be answered remained a mystery. I'll be honest. I was fairly disappointed in book three. It was not a bad book by any means, just less than I expected. While a good portion of the storylines were wrapped up, an equal portion were left wide open. Maybe this was intended, maybe not, but I was expecting more than I got.
♦ Conclusion. This is a difficult summary to write. On the one hand, I loved this series. I loved the premise, the characters, the worldbuilding, the magic systems and for the most part, the character development. On the other hand I just do not think a trilogy did this series justice. The wonderful worldbuilding presented possibilities that were never fully explored. This resulted in a certain degree of disappointment when I finished the last page. Of course I can hope that one day Glenda Larke revisits the Quartern, but for now I really feel like this story is incomplete.
Now this leads me to a dilemma. I can not in good conscience give this series a low rating. Everything, and I do mean everything, about this series is exactly what I love in an Epic Fantasy. The only major problem I have is with the ending.
Now you can look at this two ways. Either Glenda Larke failed to bring this series to a satisfactory conclusion or she successfully created a world and characters that refused to let me go once I read the final page. I have pondered this question for the last week and I cannot decide which scenario I want to go with. I did however come up with one inescapable conclusion. If she ever writes a continuation of this tale, I will be the first in line to snatch it up.
For more indepth information and analysis, I recommend reading the individual book reviews. Once there you can also follow the included links to Goodreads, Librarything and Amazon to check out the opinions of other reviewers. In the meantime, I have to say this series had alot going for it. It was a fun ride but until more is added to it, this series is unfortunately not going on my reread shelf.
|Author: Glenda Larke
Genre: Epic Fantasy Series
Content: Unique Magic, Adult Themes
Series: Watergivers and/or Stormlord Trilogy
Source: Personal Copies
|Cover Design: Peter Cotton|
Cover Illustration: Larry Rostant
Read an Interview with Glenda Larke
Author's Web Presence:
Website - Blog - Twitter
Available in Kindle
See individual reviews for more information.
More Great Epic Fantasy
Epic Fantasy Series Review of Watergivers: Stormlord Trilogy by Glenda Larke - Reviewed by Mulluane - on August 12 2013 - Rating: of 5 Stars