Seven Sorcerers: Books of the Shaper: Volume 3 by John R Fultz
|Seven Sorcerers: Books of the Shaper: Volume 3 by John R Fultz|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: The third and final of Fultz's 'Books of the Shaper' trilogy ties up the series' loose ends nicely while showing flashes of the brilliant epic fantasy we white-knuckled through in Book 2.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 448||Date: December 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
Vireon the Giant-King, Emperor Tyro and Feathered Serpent/Sorcerer Khama are readying their armies to face the Almighty Zyung, would be conqueror of the Five Cities, a Shaper and evil piece of work. Meanwhile Sharadza (Vireon's sister) and Iardu (the good Shaper, mostly) take on swifter forms to beg assistance from every place and being they can think of. For the time is coming when the world's freedom depends on victory against insurmountable odds. Back at the armies, Dahrima the Axe, giantess and leader of Vireon's spear-maiden body guard, has sworn to die for her king but also has some emotional issues. As for Ianthe and Gammir, the causes of much suffering in the past, they once again have their own agendas that could mean Zyung is the least of anyone's worries.
Sorcerers follows on from Kings with the cast more or less as we left them. Sharadza, unable to go home after the exile forced on her by her husband (not his fault!) has been Iardu the Shifter's student, increasing her powers and his heart rate. Emperor Tyro, always the most war like of him and his missing brother, Lyrilan, seems to be vindicated as the Armageddon-type fight approaches, although not excusing how he treated his sibling. Meanwhile Vireon is still smarting from his discovery about his daughter being a doppleganger planted by the evil Ianthe. Talking of whom, she and fellow blood drinker Gammir are flying in Zyung's evil armada while awaiting their next move.
So the scene is set but before the excitement can begin we have to wait for everyone to get into position. In the case of Zyung this is a fascinating process as we learn about his world on tour, meet the High Seraphim including my favourite character this instalment. Sungui, is great - a gender swopping High Seraphim with a conscience.
On the goodies' side there is much marching in the case of the armies and much flying for Iardu and his delightful apprentice, a mission that seems a little formulaic. Sharadza and Iardu go from place to place - in mountains, under seas, underground etc - asking for help with differing success rates and move on. Visually this could look stunning (especially when encountering the Maker of Mountains) but on the page their mission becomes a little samey as only the scenery changes.
John is a Shakespeare-admiring English Lit lecturer which shows as he employs formal English from time to time, making us smile with flourishes like Go and never return!. However, when this guy writes action, hold onto your hat!
It takes a little while to arrive but when the war begins, we occupy the edges of our seats. It's bloody, brutal and devours our attention as nobody is immune from tragedy. Come to think of it, not all the adversaries even have bodies! (Nice touch!) There are also modern resonances as Zyung declares the only way to peace is hostile occupation. (Sound familiar?) The ending is very neat: any looseness is tied and we revisit the survivors in a 'where are they now?' manner, reassured of their outcome.
Seven Sorcerers may only have the partial whoosh-wow-factor of Seven Kings but it's a fitting finale enabling us to look back at my journey with Iardu the Shaper with fondness and whetting our appetite as to what Mr Fultz has for us next.
I'd like to thank Orbit for providing us with a copy for review.
Further Reading: It goes without saying that if you haven't read Seven Princes or Seven Kings then that's your next step. If you've done that already, then try Scar Night by Alan Campbell; we loved it.
You can read more book reviews or buy Seven Sorcerers: Books of the Shaper: Volume 3 by John R Fultz at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Seven Sorcerers: Books of the Shaper: Volume 3 by John R Fultz at Amazon.com.
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