Song of the Shiver Barrens (Mirage Makers) by Glenda Larke

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Song of the Shiver Barrens (Mirage Makers) by Glenda Larke

Category: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Natalie Baker
Reviewed by Natalie Baker
Summary: A fast-paced, adventurous final book in the series that will keep you on tenterhooks until the very end.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 576 Date: May 2008
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-1841496078

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I might as well declare that I'm a fan of Glenda Larke. I very much enjoyed the first two books in the series and I've been waiting with impatience to discover what she had in store for Ligea, Arrant, and all her other characters. My expectations weren't disappointed, and the final book is a very enjoyable read.

Arrant, son of Ligea, now ruling in Tyr, is to go back, finally, to Kardiastan, to the father he barely knows, but who he believes hates him. That's not the only problem Arrant has – his powers still aren't working properly, which has led to disaster in the past, and could spell future disaster also, as there are those in Kardiastan who oppose him being named heir to his father, as much for his lack of control of his power as for their own ambitious ends. As if that weren't enough, his half-brother Tarran, a Mirage Maker, is reporting greater, and possibly fatal, destruction of the Mirage Makers by the Ravage. But with everyone believing that Tarran is merely Arrant's imaginary friend, how can he convince his father that the threat is real?

This book dives into the action – and there is a lot of action – far faster than the previous two, with plenty of intrigue set up in the first few chapters that last throughout the entire book. There's a lot of threads of plot to keep track of for a while, but the pace of the book doesn't drag. In fact, there was so much to fit in I was wondering as I got towards the end of the book if there was going to be space to fit in a resolution and an ending – I needn't have worried! While the characters and their relationships were so clearly painted in that I guessed what was going to happen to most of them – not that this spoiled my enjoyment at all, there were parts of the final resolution that I didn't see coming at all, but were so obvious I couldn't believe I hadn't worked it out. (And I do enjoy working things out in novels!)

Arrant is, however, the focus of this final novel, there's plenty of character development for him, if much less for others, but there's still more than enough in this story to keep me by turns amused, entertained and enthralled. I have the usual nitpicks about the lack of subtlety of her names, both of places and characters (although at least with Arrant she wrote it in as being obvious), and that, after three books, I still don't quite understand what exactly a shleth is or what it looks like. My final nitpick is one of complete disbelief at whoever let the mistake on the title page slip through - it claims to be book two rather than book three - although it says book three on the cover, hopefully avoiding confusion. At the end of the day, however, these are no more than minor niggles and it was a thoroughly satisfying read and a well-rounded off story. It's a mark of a good trilogy that the end of a book can leave you both feeling complete and still wanting more, and I'm hoping there'll be many more books to come from Glenda Larke.

Further reading suggestion: The other books by Glenda Larke in this series are The Heart of the Mirage and The Shadow of Tyr.

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

Buy Song of the Shiver Barrens (Mirage Makers) by Glenda Larke at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Song of the Shiver Barrens (Mirage Makers) by Glenda Larke at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Song of the Shiver Barrens (Mirage Makers) by Glenda Larke at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Song of the Shiver Barrens (Mirage Makers) by Glenda Larke at Amazon.com.


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