Sunday, 19 April 2009

Wolfblade Review

Wolfblade (book 1 of Wolfblade Trilogy)
- Jennifer Fallon

Publisher: UK - Orbit

Why I picked it up: I spent 6 months travelling around Australia and gazing longingly at all the fantasy authors they have down under that I couldn’t bring back with me (I did manage to smuggle some Traci Harding home and think those books are brilliant!). So when I got home and realised Orbit was publishing Jennifer Fallon in the UK I snapped up a copy.

Back Blurb: Marla Wolfblade of Hythria is determined to restore her family's great name, but conspirators surround her: the Sorcerers' Collective, the Patriots - even members of her own family. She must make sure her son Damin lives to be old enough to restore the Wolfblade name to its former glory. Elezaar the Dwarf is a small man with big secrets - but that doesn't matter to Marla Wolfblade. Her brother is the High Prince of Hythria, and, in this fiercely patriarchal society, her fate will be decided on his whim. She needs someone politically astute to guide her through the maze of court politics - and Elezaar knows more than he is willing to admit. As Elezaar teaches Marla the Rules of Gaining and Wielding Power, Marla starts on the road to becoming a tactician and a wily diplomat - but will that be enough to keep her son alive?

What I thought: This is the first book of a prequel trilogy to Fallon’s Demon Child trilogy and I made the mistake of reading some of the reviews on Amazon before starting the book. These reviews implied that I wouldn’t be able to follow the story unless I’d read the Demon child series first so I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the book (especially as it’s another doorstop book – over 700 pages!) but it just goes to show that you should never listen to critics! I loved the book – all the political wrangling over succession and hints at the use of magic and the ‘hidden’ race of Harshini made for a convincing world. This is a world that has existed for hundred of years and will go on even without the characters. Marla, nominally the ‘main’ character makes enormous strides to grow up throughout the book – and by the end comes of ages. But all the other characters are superbly written as well and there are one or two shocks when some characters are killed off. This is a world where the good guys don’t always win – in fact the good guys don’t always do good and the bad guys aren’t all bad – everyone is a shade of grey and their actions can go either way. I was able to follow the story without reading the Demon Child and I think it surprised me when the story took a certain as I didn’t know how it was going to end. I enjoyed this so much – I can’t wait for the middle book of the trilogy to arrive – Warrior.

Recommended for: Political fantasy fans and people who like fantasy sagas

Rating: 9 out of 10

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