Exiled from his beloved Melusine, wizard Felix Harrowgate journeys to the land of Corambis to present himself for judgment to the Circle. His half-bro...moreExiled from his beloved Melusine, wizard Felix Harrowgate journeys to the land of Corambis to present himself for judgment to the Circle. His half-brother, Mildmay the Fox, accompanies him. Corambis has more to fear than the arrival of a wayward wizard and an ex-criminal however. A revolutionary’s desperate attempt to win independence for Caloxa has awoken ancient machinery and these mysterious mechanisms are draining the life from animals and people alike. Felix is powerful—but is he powerful enough to stop the Engine of Summerdown without sacrificing himself?
While satisfying, the conclusion to the Labyrinth quartet pales in comparison to the first three books. Corambis simply lacked the urgency of Melusine, The Virtu and The Mirador. The angst between Felix and Mildmay, while believable, is the same angst that we witnessed in books 1, 2 & 3. There is danger but for whatever reason, it didn’t feel as threatening as the dangers faced previously. Mildmay, one of my all-time favorite characters, had less of an independent storyline in Corambis; he spent most of his time in Felix’s shadow. All that said, it was satisfying to see Felix finally come to terms with himself; it was also good to see Mildmay consider a new path for himself.(less)
Tricked into releasing Ruin (Well of Ascension), Vin & Elend are now desperately searching for the means to turn Ruin back and save their world. R...moreTricked into releasing Ruin (Well of Ascension), Vin & Elend are now desperately searching for the means to turn Ruin back and save their world. Ruin sees and hears everything though—which makes it virtually impossible for anyone to plan together to defeat it. To make matters worse, Ruin also has the ability to influence people’s actions without their awareness. Meanwhile, the mist is becoming more dangerous, ash threatens to suffocate all forms of life and earthquakes are occuring with increasing frequency. Sanderson maintains the fast-paced, action-packed storyline he began with Mistborn—and I love the clever plot twists. Sanderson’s character-development is also strong—I love Tensoon!
Fantastic conclusion to the trilogy—I can’t wait to read his conclusion to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series!(less)
Demons, once-men, rogue militias and others are preying upon the remaining survivors of the former United States. The future relies upon the efforts o...moreDemons, once-men, rogue militias and others are preying upon the remaining survivors of the former United States. The future relies upon the efforts of two Knights of the Word, an elf—and a boy who has recently discovered that he’s something more than human. The Gypsy Morph is the concluding volume in the bridge-series between Brooks’ Word & The Void trilogy and the Shannara series. Even though this is the fifth spin-off from the original Shannara trilogy, Brooks keeps the story fresh and once again offers the reader strong storytelling and unforgettable characters. Good read! Terry Brooks is at the very top of my favorite author list—and the Shannara series is at the very top of my favorite series list. According to his website, he has plans to write a follow-up Genesis duology. Something to look forward to!(less)
I read this book in one day—I wish the sequel were already published because I want to know how this story will play out—this is definitely one of the...moreI read this book in one day—I wish the sequel were already published because I want to know how this story will play out—this is definitely one of the most intriguing series I’ve come across!
Our hero from Shadowfall has cleared his name of murder—he’s even assumed a leadership role—but that doesn’t mean that everyone is behind him. The land of Myrillia is facing uncertain times and no one quite knows whom to trust. As an attempt to strengthen ties among the Nine Lands, an elaborate ceremony is planned for Tylar’s re-induction as a ShadowKnight. Hinterland begins with the preparations for this event—and at least one group will take advantage of the ceremony to launch an attack. Who’s cooperating with whom and can the Citadel withstand the siege are only two questions driving the plot. There’s also the problem of a certain artifact—it’s been imbued with dark graces and corrupts those who come into contact with it. What do you do with such an artifact? It needs to be kept away from those who would use it to corrupt others—but it’s not safe to be around—and what the heck do the Wyr want with it?
As with the first book, Clemens manages multiple characters and plotlines well. Hinterland takes Tylar, Dart and their companions into the wilds where the Rogue Gods roam—a dangerous place. Will the artifact’s place of origin reveal the means to save Myrillia from the dark forces at work?
Anxiously waiting for the next installment! (less)
Millenia ago, there was a war between the gods. Something during the war not only shattered the kingdom of the gods, but also shattered the gods thems...moreMillenia ago, there was a war between the gods. Something during the war not only shattered the kingdom of the gods, but also shattered the gods themselves. This sundering caused each god’s individual self to separate into three distinct parts—aether, naether and physical.
The physical aspects of the gods landed on Myrillia—crazed by the sundering, the gods wrought havoc among the Myrillians until it was discovered that binding themselves to the land would end their madness. 100 gods chose to bind themselves, often bringing blessing and prosperity to their respective realms. The others roam the wilds, still maddened, still wreaking havoc.
Shadowfall begins with the murder of one of the 100 gods—something that was thought impossible. The only witness is a crippled, disgraced, former knight—as he comforts the dying goddess, she bestows a powerful blessing upon him—a blessing which heals his crippled body—a blessing which makes him the only murder suspect. He will be chased across the land by practically everyone as he attempts to find and kill a creature powerful enough to murder a god.
I was caught up in this story from the first page–I read it in two days. Other reviewers have criticized the character development but I think it’s well-done—I engaged with our protagonists right away. I am particularly interested to learn more of Rogger’s history as the Godslayer Chronicles continue—and of course, I’m anxious to see how Dart’s character will develop. I love animals so I quickly became attached to Pupp, Barrin and Hern (even though Barrin & Hern are minor characters and Pupp isn’t technically an animal).
I’m intrigued by the reverse trinity aspect of the gods—and I have to comment that the Myrillian Balger is bad enough, so I’d hate to meet his naethryn aspect! As far as the humoral graces of the gods and the Hands chosen to collect them—it’s an interesting concept, if somewhat icky.
Shadowfall has lots of action and intrigue with a hint of romance—recommended! If luck is with me, I will check out Hinterlands, Book Two of the Godslayer Chronicles from the library today. I’ll also have to check out something by James Rollins (aka James Clemens).
The Mirador is the third in Monette’s ‘Doctrine of Labyrinths’ fantasy series. This is an interesting fantasy series because, unlike the traditional T...moreThe Mirador is the third in Monette’s ‘Doctrine of Labyrinths’ fantasy series. This is an interesting fantasy series because, unlike the traditional Tolkien fantasies (which I love by the way), the heroes’ paths are unclear. For that matter, the heroes themselves are far from traditional: the fate of a country rests largely upon Mildmay the Fox, a former cat burglar/assassin, and Felix, an elitist wizard with a mean streak.
If you choose to undertake this series (and I do recommend it), keep in mind that no one is who he/she seems at first glance. Plots, counterplots, treachery & intrigue characterize each book. I should also caution the faint of heart that strong language, violence and sexual situations also characterize each book. However, there is also humor: Mildmay’s blunt, colloquial narration often lightens tense scenes in the books.
Another word of wisdom: if you choose to read this series, read the books fairly closely together. I’ve been reading them as they’ve been published and, with all of the plots & counterplots, I’d forgotten some details from the first two books. *I did still figure out one of the main ‘bad’ guys in book three however!
900 years before the series begins, the Quirsi, a magically-endowed race with distinctive pale skin, white hair and golden eyes, launch an invasion ag...more900 years before the series begins, the Quirsi, a magically-endowed race with distinctive pale skin, white hair and golden eyes, launch an invasion against their northern neighbors, the Eandi—the invasion fails. As the series begins, the races appear to be coexisting peacefully. Several Quirsi serve as advisors to the various nobles in the feudal society of the northlands; close relationships have even developed between some Eandi and Quirsi. Simmering under the surface however is a general Eandi distrust of Quirsi, compounded by fear of the Quirsi’s magical abilities; for their part, many Quirsi chafe at their precarious acceptance under Eandi rule. Individuals of both races have delusions of racial supremacy.
A powerful Quirsi, known to his followers as The Weaver, seeks to end Eandi rule in the northlands. He’s patient and politically-savvy; over a period of years, he orchestrates a series of events to divide the Eandi kingdoms. His plan is to let them weaken themselves and then, when they’ve done most of the work for him, he’ll sweep in with his army and finish the job.
Throughout the series, characters’ intentions are clear to the reader; the suspense comes from hoping the other characters will recognize the peril they are in before it’s too late. Coe has done an excellent job with this. Political intrigue abounds and, with a sad ring of truth, most of the time the motivation is individual ambition rather than the greater good. Still, there is hope—some characters will recognize their flaws and attempt to overcome them, some will make unexpected sacrifices. For me, the only major ‘flaw’ was the fact that the logical characters did not consult, or even discuss consulting, an important ghost, given the turmoil her murder caused (in this fantasy world, talking to ghosts is an option every Bian’s Turn).
David B. Coe’s ‘Winds of the Forelands’ series is a well-written story with interesting characters and a frank look at racial prejudice. There are multiple storylines to follow so I do recommend reading the books fairly closely together—the snowy days of winter are just the time to snuggle up with this series!
* Rules of Ascension * Seeds of Betrayal * Bonds of Vengeance * Shapers of Darkness * Weavers of War
*If this series hooks you, you’ll be pleased to know that Coe has begun a follow-up series: the first book is The Sorcerer’s Plague. While the Forelands series took place in the northlands, the follow-up series appears to be based in the southlands.
Loving this trilogy!!! The concluding volume, "Hero of Ages" is scheduled for publication this fall and I’m looking forward to reading it.
The setting...moreLoving this trilogy!!! The concluding volume, "Hero of Ages" is scheduled for publication this fall and I’m looking forward to reading it.
The setting for this trilogy is a mist-haunted, ash-ridden, barren world. Like many fantasy novels, the society is feudal. For one thousand years, the Lord Ruler has led an oppressive empire in which he proclaims himself God, the families of those who originally supported his rise to power have inherited noble status—and the families of those who did not support him are kept in perpetual servitude.
Mistborn gets the trilogy off to a strong start—in the author’s own words, we have a gang of gentleman thieves, each of whom has his own distinctive magical power. What brings them together? A daring plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler. The author has stated that he wanted to create a heist story along the lines of Sneakers or Ocean’s Eleven—and I personally think he was successful—however, "Mistborn" is more than a heist story in a fantasy setting—much more.
"The Well of Ascension" keeps the momentum going. What’s going on with the mists? They seem to be lingering past sunrise—something no one remembers them doing before. They also appear to be killing people—but how? And the mist-figure that seems focused on Vin—what purpose does it have? Does a journal from the days before the Lord Ruler assumed control have the answers?
This is a fast-paced, action-packed trilogy with clever twists. I did not see the ‘ending’ of "The Well of Ascension" coming at all—the clues were there but I did not recognize them until it all came together. Sanderson’s character development is top-notch—I particularly love the characters of Vin and Tensoon.
I picked up this series because I wanted to check out the writing of the author who will be completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. We’re in good hands!