Friday, June 27, 2014

Legacy of Kings (Magister Trilogy #3) by C.S. Friedman | Epic Fantasy

The young peasant woman Kamala has proven strong and determined enough to claim the most powerful Magister sorcery for herself-but now the Magisters hunt her for killing one of their own. Her only hope of survival lies in the northern Protectorates, where spells are warped by a curse called the Wrath that even the Magisters fear. Originally intended to protect the lands of men from creatures known only as souleaters, the Wrath appears to be weakening-and the threat of this ancient enemy is once more falling across the land.

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Legacy of Kings (Magister Trilogy #3) by C.S. Friedman | Epic Fantasy Review

| Author: C. S. Friedman
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: Witchcraft, Sorcery, Dark Magic
| ISBN-10: 0756407486
| ISBN-13: 9780756407483
| Publisher: DAW; Reprint edition (September 4, 2012)
| Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
| Cover Artist: John Jude Palencar
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5/5 Stars
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Legacy of Kings (The Magister Trilogy, #3)

♦ Mini Review ♦
To save the world the last Souleater Queen must be killed. A daunting task and by no means a certain one. Fortunately we might just have the right mix of heroes and heroines to do the job. If they can all somehow manage to get along.

Epic Fantasy Book Review by Mulluane

♦ What I Liked.  I love a series with a solid ending. Plotlines were resolved in ways I had not expected. A nagging inconsistency was partially answered. Pretty much nothing happened as I had envisioned it. Which is a good thing. The core of what happened didn't surprise me, but some of the paths those resolutions took did. I was delighted.

And the ending did not feel rushed either. This was somewhat of a pleasant surprise too. I've been stuck in a rut of rushed endings lately. Rushed endings always leave me feeling like the book/series is incomplete or the author is too focused on laying groundwork for another trilogy; or meeting a deadline. This ending felt solid to me with subtle groundwork laid in case she decides to write about this world later. There were a few events that were resolved almost too easy, but they were only events. They were not what the heart and soul of this novel was about. The main focus was personal growth, personal agendas, personal sacrifice and personal demons and all those resolved to my satisfaction.

♦ What I didn't like.  I never completely understood the magister's power. There is a revelation that takes place at some point in the story (not saying what or when) but it took a system of magic I thought I understood and made it into something I didn't understand at all. Not so much HOW it worked but how it was passed along from the original Magister.

But, it was not a deal breaker and maybe I'm too picky. There are many books that never explain the magic system and I still enjoyed them. In this case, the revelation I'm referring to added enormously to the story. It gave it an added depth and sense of drama. But it also puts a glaring hole in the overall system. I think I may have over analyzed things, but it just nagged at me.

♦ Extra Thoughts. I still didn't like how the Penitent monk/king picks and chooses what tenets of his faith he'll betray, honor or protect. But that very well may be the point. I can't say I'd do any better in his situation. After all, he didn't ask to be King. Besides, I don't think his religion made much sense once certain pieces of information came to light. That had to have shaken at least some of his loyalty. Irregardless, you shouldn't just pick and choose which tenets are convenient and which don't fit your agenda. However not liking it, and saying it didn't add depth to the story, are not the same thing. It was all part of the deep exploration of a wide range of moral dilemmas.

Speaking of moral dilemmas, those dilemmas are what I believe led to some of the less than enthusiastic reviews of this book. I loved them. I loved the challenges they presented. I enjoyed the premises. I loved watching as the characters worked through or with their demons. The actual events -- the war between mankind and the Souleaters -- was background noise to me. I never doubted that the world would be saved in the end. I had plenty of doubts about who would survive, adapt or be forever changed in the process. The other roadblock is that these are not likable characters. They are not meant to be. They are self centered, cruel, arrogant, greedy, conflicted and deeply flawed. This is not a fairy tale. If anything, these people are far too human.

♦ Conclusion.  If you like dark fantasy that really makes you think; heroes and antiheroes, deep moral dilemmas, strong women leads plus a totally new take on vampires and dragons, then this book/series will be a good fit. If you prefer the focus to be on action and adventure, you'll find some of each but likely not enough to satisfy. If you want stellar heroes to root for and a clearly defined line between good and evil, you won't like this series at all. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this conclusion to the series, but I concede that it might not suit some tastes.

♥ Additional Reviews ♥

Series Summary ~ Feast of Souls #1 ~ Wings of Wrath #2

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Librarything 3.82/5

Amazon: 4.5/5
(42 customer Reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Legacy of Kings: Book Three of the Magister Trilogy

Audible: Yes

Buy Book: Books-A-Million ~ AbeBooks

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Already read the book? Please share your own opinion!

Epic Fantasy Review of Legacy of Kings (Magister Trilogy #3) by C.S. Friedman
Reviewed by Mulluane on June 27 2014
Rating: 5 of 5

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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