I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
The deadly White Wizards of Fairhaven, wielding the forces of chaos, have completed their great highway through the Westhorns and now threatened the ancient matriarchy of Sarronnyn, the last bastion of order in Candar. The ruler of Sarronnyn appeals to the Black order wizards of Recluce for help.
Justen - a young Black Engineer in the city of Nylan - joins the relief force. Despite their success in destroying more than half the White armies, Sarronnyn falls to the White Wizards, and Justen is chased into the most inhospitable desert in Candar. These trials are but the beginning, for the White Wizards have all Candar in their grasp. Justen must fight both Recluce and Fairhaven, as well as the highest powers of order and the forbidden technology to harness chaos itself in his efforts to halt the conquest of the chaos wizards.
I am hopeful that with this installment done and dusted that the next one will be more to my taste. So far, I have enjoyed book two the most, with my engagement falling during books three and four. These two books have included far too many blacksmithing details and far too many details about gears, clutches, fuel tanks, and wheels. Boring!
The other problem I’m having with this series is that the emotions experienced by the characters feel very wooden to me. I feel like I’m being held away at arms’ length from their emotional lives. For me, that makes it pretty difficult to care about them.
The ending of this volume gives me hope that we may be moving away from all of the engineering details that have dominated the last two books and that we are moving toward more magic and regular fantasy-novel type adventures. If that’s not true, please don’t tell me. I’ve got the next book queued up in my TBR pile and hope to read it before year’s end!
Book number 333 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project.