Terra Incognita: The Key to Creation by Kevin J Anderson
|Terra Incognita: The Key to Creation by Kevin J Anderson|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: An epic story of war, religion and exploration with enough small scale human interest to keep the reader involved and invested. A solid conclusion to a good series.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 576||Date: June 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
As the two opposing armies of Tierra and Uraba, both fighting for control of the holy city they each believe belongs to their religion, march towards a final battle, two Arkships – one Tierran, one Uraban – are having their own race to the legendary land of Terravitae.
Both armies and both Arkships have suffered much in their time. From run ins with powerful witches, mutinies and sabotage, the Arkships are battered and their crews weary. The armies have both suffered and delivered atrocities and hate in the decades-long war that has gone on between them.
Queen Anjine of Tierra is still reeling from the loss of her little brother, grief and anger making her ever more determined to crush the Uraban forces, while Soldan-Shah Omra is conflicted by his loathing for Tierra and his love for his first wife – a woman of Tierran heritage.
With the armies at loggerheads, it looks like only divine intervention from the opposing figureheads of the two religions can resolve the war, but with the Arkships approaching the realm of the gods, perhaps that isn't too far out of the question...
This is a trilogy I really think would benefit from being read one after the other. With so much going on, and big stretches between seeing certain characters, it is difficult to get reoriented in the world and with the people who inhabit it. However, I found myself very absorbed once I sat down and dedicated a few hours to reading.
Once again, the strength in this final instalment of the Terra Incognita trilogy is the unflinching sense that there is no winner in war, that everyone is as bad as each other, and there is no clearly definable right and wrong.
I felt sometimes the commentary on modern day religious problems was a little thinly disguised – with Prester Hannes and Sikara Fyiri representing religious extremism and the dangers inherent in that, and the Aidenists and Urecari filling in for whichever religions you wish to chose – but the fact that Anderson was so clear on the idea that neither was better than the other, and the general messages of each religion were fundamentally similar meant the book stayed in the realm of cautionary tale without ever crossing to 'rant' territory.
The human issues at the core of the novel were interesting too – a wife having to chose between the husband she thought lost and the man she married to save herself, but has since lived with for twenty years, a son and a father meeting for the first time, the battle of a young man indoctrinated with hate, trying to come to terms with an enemy that isn't as evil as painted by his teachers – providing a very small scale, colourful set of stories to relate to among the epic movements of war and exploration. The ideas surrounding the gods and their history were interesting too.
Overall, this was a solid conclusion to a good series. It's not got me rushing out to buy or borrow more epic fantasy series, but I enjoyed reading it, and would recommend to fans of the genre as a gripping story.
My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.
Fans of the fantasy genre might enjoy the works of Karen Miller.
You can read more book reviews or buy Terra Incognita: The Key to Creation by Kevin J Anderson at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Terra Incognita: The Key to Creation by Kevin J Anderson at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.