Shadowfane: Action-packed and exciting finale

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Shadowfane, the concluding volume of Janny Wurts’ THE CYCLE OF FIRE trilogy is an action-packed and exciting finale.

As humankind is being destroyed by demons (who we now know are aliens) Jaric has realized that he has no choice but to brave the Cycle of Fire. If he succeeds, this trial will gain him the powers of a Firelord, but he risks the destructive madness that afflicted his father.

The action never lets up and, along the way, there are plenty of wins and losses and lots of heart-breaking suffering for all of our heroes — especially Jaric, Taen, Taen’s mother, Corley, and the Kielmark. fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

There are also emotional displays of courage, grace, hope, faith, forgiveness, and love — themes which I appreciate in fantasy literature and miss in the writings of a few recently popular authors. The ending of Shadowfane is satisfying, but intriguingly not closed.

While reading THE CYCLE OF FIRE, I found myself once again greatly admiring Ms. Wurts’ imagination. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say that I loved the science fiction elements and how Veriset Nav, motivated — almost consciously — to complete its program, developed its own mythos to hide itself from humans and aliens.

I read the audio version produced by Audible UK. David Thorpe’s enthusiasm is infectious. If you read THE CYCLE OF FIRE this way, I suggest using Ms. Wurts’ website as a resource — she has posted a helpful map and a glossary.

The Cycle of Fire — (1984-1988) Publisher: SUMMON ME, SORCERER, AND KNOW SORROW… Written in the records at Vaere is the tale of the binding of the Mharg-demons by Anskiere, wizard of wind and wave. Anskiere was aided in this task by Ivain, master of fire and earth, for the skills of a single sorcerer were not enough against so formidable a foe. It is further recorded that at the moment of greatest peril, Ivain betrayed his companion out of jealousy. Nonetheless the demons were defeated, the wards sealed, and Anskiere survived to swear a powerful oath against his betrayer. So potent was the magic in the words spoken by Anskiere that sailors who have visited the site claim the winds there repeat them to this day: ‘Your offence against me is pardoned but not forgotten. This geas I lay upon you; should I call, you, Ivain, shall answer, and complete a deed of my choice, even to the end of your days. And should you die, my will shall pass to your eldest son, and to his son’s sons after him, until the debt is paid…’

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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