Thursday, November 19, 2009

Child of a Dead God – review

Authors: Barb and JC Hendee

First published: 2008

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: Blood flows where destiny calls.

For years, Magiere and Leesil have sought a long-forgotten artefact, even though its purpose has been shrouded in mystery. All Magiere knows is that she must keep the orb from her murderous half-brother Welstiel, one of the lethal so-called Noble Dead. And now, dreams of a castle locked in ice leads her south – on a journey that has become nothing less than an obsession.

Among Magiere’s protectors are two elven assassins-turned-guardians who must fight their mistrust of this sister of the dead. Forces more powerful than they are also rallying around Magiere, arming her for conflict. And finding the orb may be just the start of the dangers that await.

The review: This is the last book of the Noble Dead series, ish… This is, according to the official website, the final book of Series 1. Series 2 begins with the book “In Shade and Shadow” and, whilst still part of the greater storyline, is set on another continent, with a different set of protagonists and antagonists. This is, of course, the problem/joy with/of so called “High Fantasy” – the series go on and on and on…

Not an issue, of course, when you are committed to the series – so long as the quality remains consistent – and in this latest volume not only is the quality consistent but the book also closes off the primary on-running saga (with enough mystery remaining to allow re-visitation of the primary themes in Series 2). However, when it comes to the microcosmic conflict – that between Magiere and Welsteil, things are closed off nicely.

The vampires are less sidelined in this volume than they were in the previous book, Rebel Fey, and we get some nice undead moments. For instance; the creation of feral vampires to be used as shock troops by their more rational creators and also the idea of the vampires’ dead flesh freezing when in the mountains, but their undead nature not offering them pain to warn them of the cold’s effect. We also meet a millennia old vampire whose age, and the years spent alone, have caused her to forget the sound and form of words.

It all adds to a nice conclusion to the saga – though, as suggested, the saga has not ended but shifted. This is not particularly accessible to those who have not read the previous 5 books, unfortunately, but I would suggest – if you are looking for a mix of vampires and fantasy – searching out book 1, Dhampir, and giving the series a go. 7 out of 10.


Anonymous said...

This is book 6 that I am about to start of the 8 in the Series. I had to track down some of these through used book stores to acquire all 8. The 1st 3 I had to get in paperback. Once you start this series it is impossible to put down. This is a gem of a find, Good Luck.


Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Sarah, my understanding is that the series ends here and the next 2 are, I guess the best simile would be, a second season...

I haven't read those yet, but I will eventually.