Warlord (Wolfblade Trilogy) by Jennifer Fallon

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Warlord (Wolfblade Trilogy) by Jennifer Fallon

Buy Warlord (Wolfblade Trilogy) by Jennifer Fallon at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Myfanwy Rodman
Reviewed by Myfanwy Rodman
Summary: Political intrigue and personal tragedy shapes this chronicle of a family and country in a time of great change.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 720 Date: September 2008
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-1841496542

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In the city of Greenharbour Marla Wolfblade, sister to the High Prince of Hythria, mourns the death of her beloved slave Elezaar and faces the fact that her secrets are in the hands of her deadliest enemy. But Marla has been playing a waiting game for the last twenty years and now the gloves are off. She will have revenge and, if she has her way, it will be cunning, treacherous and lead to her enemy's total annihilation.

Ravaged by plague and politically divided, the kingdom of Hythria faces invasion. Only the heir to the throne, Damin Wolfblade, can rally his countrymen and stand against the invaders. But Damin is hampered by his incompetent uncle, the ruling High Prince and, after discovering murder and deceit in his own family; he is forced to ride to war leaving a madman at his back. Can the decimated forces of Hythria win a war? Or will the Wolfblade line fall before the young heir has time to prove his worth?

Warlord is the final book in Fallon's Wolfblade Trilogy, which traces the rise of the Wolfblade family and was written as a prequel to her Demon Child Trilogy – Medalon, Treason Keep and Harshini. As ever the plot is complex and twisting, though there is a clear sense of a conclusion as the novel nears its end. The political machinations of Hythrian nobility continue to claim lives and change fortunes, with political manoeuvrings for power running alongside the more direct business of battle and war.

As with the previous books in this series Fallon's characters, though well developed and beautifully presented, do leave the reader feeling a little cheated. With 'goodies' and 'baddies' acting in such similar ways, it's hard to find someone to root for. And after a while the selfishness of many of the characters becomes disappointing. While this may be realistic it doesn't uplift the reader in the way that the best of high fantasy can.

My favourite characters were the Denikans and their sub plot – that of a crown prince disguised as a sex slave – was clever and interesting. Indeed more could have been made of the slave system in Hythria and I would have liked a more varied viewpoint on this. At times it felt as if the book was full of nothing but nobles vying for power. As the story of Damin Wolfblade's rise from heir to Warlord this trilogy reads like a political history rather then an exploration of culture or an exercise in world building. Action scenes are disappointing, with Fallon largely skipping descriptions of battle and bloodshed in favour of tactic talks and intrigue.

So, if you like your fantasy with a realistic edge, if you like political plots and clever twists or stories about the human condition, this is a book for you. Personally, I missed not having at least a few characters willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good or risk all to save their comrades, sometimes a bit of derring-do can go a long way.

A matter of taste I suppose.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Before reading this book you really should read the two earlier books in the trilogy - Wolfblade and Warrior.

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Buy Warlord (Wolfblade Trilogy) by Jennifer Fallon at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Warlord (Wolfblade Trilogy) by Jennifer Fallon at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Warlord (Wolfblade Trilogy) by Jennifer Fallon at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Warlord (Wolfblade Trilogy) by Jennifer Fallon at Amazon.com.


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