Science fiction and fantasy
Last of the Wilds
by Trudi Canavan
Auraya may be a powerful priestess of the White, but that position doesn't come without problems. In the aftermath of the war she has to deal with the grief of the survivors, and to figure out how to protect their allies and retain their loyalty. She wants to reconcile the persecuted Dreamweavers with the priesthood, but she feels ambivalent about her plans for them. She's also haunted by feelings of guilt about the death and destruction of the war.
Meanwhile Leiard is on the run with Emerahl, hiding out in an attempt to evade the long reach of the gods. Leiard's personality is increasingly split between his own and that of the deceased founder of the Dreamweavers, Mirar. He doesn't understand why he has such strong memories. Another mystery is just what the gods have got against Emerahl, who is a Wild. She may be a powerful magic user, but she has never tried to harm them or their followers. In this novel we learn more about the gods' blemished history and about their character traits. But it's only ever enough to tantalise us, and these glimpses of them always seem to raise more questions than they provide answers to.
Last of the Wilds takes a slightly gentler pace than Priestess of the White, but it's no less gripping. As well as introducing Reivan we also meet Imi, one of the sea-dwelling Elai people. So this novel weaves together quite a few strands of narrative into an epic of insomnia-inducing proportions. It's written with Trudi Canavan's usual skill and characteristic subtlety, proving that it doesn't take extreme levels of violence or shockingly explicit scenes to hold an audience rapt. The Age of the Five offers an intelligent look at religious fervour, cultural differences and the mechanisms of social division, wrapped in the appealing packaging of an absorbing fantasy.
If you like this, try:Dhampir by Barb and J. C. Hendee
The first book to introduce Magiere, the vampire hunter with a secret.
Giant Thief by David Tallerman
Easie Damasco will steal anything not nailed down and a few things that are, even a giant.
The Oracle's Queen by Lynn Flewelling
The epic conclusion to the Tamir Triad sees a young queen fight to unite her country.
Review © Ros Jackson
More about Trudi Canavan