The Dark sorcerer, Rak`koth, invades Balleterria, bringing death and destruction to the land as he unleashes his vast Imperial armies of ruthless killers and vicious war beasts upon the brave but greatly outnumbered Alliance of human and Elfin defenders. Only they stand between him and certain doom for their peoples as he pursues his malevolent dream of bloody conquest.
Meanwhile, Killian, Ellianthia and their intrepid companions continue their long, perilous quest for the mysterious lost mage, leaving the Plains people behind and following the shining stone ever southward into the ominous black Glass Mountains. Great danger, ferocious beasts, mythical creatures and startling surprises await them as they search for what lies beyond the enigmatic “door above the clouds,” knowing that every day’s delay means that more of their countrymen will suffer and die.
Battered by the enemy’s relentless assault, the Alliance forces led by Gavan, Rillandariel and Mik`kel struggle to survive epic battles fought with deadly steel and arcane magic—and a treacherous assassin in their own ranks—desperately hoping to endure long enough for Killian to return with the only weapon that can defeat the evil wizard and save them from annihilation.
Starting to catch up on promised read and reviews. This one is another MASSIVELY over due review. To Mr. Echeandia – I humbly apologize it took so long to get around to this, I know it was promised a very long time ago.
Since I’d read the second book in the series, there was a sense of what should come in this one. David did not disappoint. There’s lots of action, a little romance, and a several surprises along the way.
One of the hardest things to do when writing sequels is to continue to develop the world in new and interesting ways. David had an advantage with this, because of the quest style story he was telling. That kept pushing the boundaries beyond what was known, yet created a challenge to continue the world building with the same quality as the last installment. Each new setting was sketched in, and carefully developed without losing the momentum the story had built. As the conclusion approached, the new settings also created their own sense of tension – placing the characters in more challenging situations, or creating a greater threat to their survival. Very nicely done.
Even though this is the third installment, the characters continued to learn and grow. Sometimes, it was through self-realizations; other times it was through learning additional skills. There is also a nice bonus, that the characters continued to learn about each other, giving the reader a chance to discover more about the entire cast.
There were a few expected developments, which I expected earlier in the tale. Most of these involved romantic interactions, which wound up adding a new layer of interest. Too many times adding such interactions in causes a loss of tension for the story, so this was a nice surprise. And there were a couple of times I downright laughed due to the results of these changes.
Subtly handled, and very well done. With two interwoven/interdependent story lines, David did a wonderful job keeping the overall story moving while keeping both branches of the story aligned. In doing so, David allowed the reader to have a short break from the “Oh, no, the sky is falling on everyone” tension, which allowed me a chance to wrap my head around some of the new developments. And, there were a few unexpected ones, which made turning the pages even more exciting. (No, I will not go into detail, as that leads to spoiler territory.)
Overall rating? A well deserved 5 of 5 paws from this pukah. Even though there are a few overused character types, they fit the story very well. (I’d wondered about one of the final introductions, and David’s answer to that question actually made me laugh a bit.) As I haven’t read the first book to the series yet, I’m looking forward to adding it to my collection and reading everything in chronological order!
If you’d like to pick up a copy of The Lost Mage you can find it on Amazon Here. This is part of a series, so while it is enjoyable on it’s own, there are some references that require previous books to understand. You can find Awakenings, the first book in the Avatar of Calderia Trilogy on Amazon Here, and The Shining Stone, the second book of the Avatar of Calderia Trilogy Here.