Science fiction and fantasy
by Trent Jamieson
Meanwhile the Aerokin pilot Kara Jade is in the doghouse with her people's leaders, who are known as the Mothers of the Sky. They want to retrieve the ring that controls the Engine. Up in their floating fortress they feel safer from the Roil's advance, but a mild winter has allowed Roil spores to spread and even the sky is getting choked up. We're not told much about the way Aerokin look from the outside, but our view of their interiors is vivid.
This seems like a very science fictional story with alien lifeforms, high technology and quasi-vampires. However what it reminded me of most was The Lord of the Rings. Both tales have a cursed ringbearer, a quest up a formidable mountain, and allies who may turn against the main characters. Both Frodo and David are hunted at every turn, and both seem to be the least likely candidates for a heroic role. David is an addict, and not much of a fighter. As Cadell's ring exerts its influence on him he becomes less and less like himself, and he has to struggle to retain his own identity.
The feisty Margaret and the strange, conflicted David are characters that work well together in this fast-paced, exciting adventure. However the conclusion was not at all like I expected. It's a more confusing ending than I thought was being set up, if it's an ending at all. I liked that: Trent Jamieson has gone beyond a simple morality quest about good versus evil, finding courage and repelling the barbarians at the gate. Instead the author has produced something richer and much more thoughtful. This is the kind of book that will repay multiple re-readings.
29th May 2012
Review © Ros Jackson
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