StarMan: A grand but often tragic campaign

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Sara Douglass The Wayfarer Redemption The Axis Trilogy 3. StarmanStarMan by Sara Douglass

StarMan is the third in the Axis Trilogy by Sara Douglass. In this book the final battle between Axis and his half brother Gorgrael will take place, the identity of the Lover is revealed, and, finally, WolfStar shows his true colours. StarMan is absolutely packed with events, as the first two books were, and it positively glitters with the force of Douglass’ very vivid imagination.

Sara Douglass has managed to churn out a fairly effective fantasy trilogy. The world building is top-notch, and the character development has been vigorous — especially when thinking back to the first book. These characters have definitely come a long way! I was unable to resist finding out what happened to Axis, Azhure, and Faraday, which I guess is most of what can be asked from a novel.

But while I felt compelled to finish this trilogy, I am not desperate to read the next trilogy which is also set in the world of Tencendor. In fact, I could manage if I never picked up another of this fairly prolific author’s work because the writing is clumsy (e.g, those cloying and sickly names such as Dear Man, Friend, and sweet boy — Ack!), some of the characters are walking clichés, and I found some key scenes rather funny — even though I knew I shouldn’t be laughing. The dialogue follows a tiresome ‘he said, she said’ formula, and most of it was extremely melodramatic (along the lines of “I can’t live without you,” etc).

At times I wanted to slap certain characters — Azhure chief amongst them. Yep, I still can’t get past the whole ‘village girl makes good’ theme. At other times I rolled my eyes at plot devices — here the gems with souls (chitter, chatter!) were a lowlight. I’m just baffled by the extreme consistency of Douglass’ writing.

And yet Douglass presents us with the Icarii — a proud race of winged people, angelically beautiful, who use the power of the Star Dance to perform their enchantments; a race whose children are awakened in the womb and then sung through birth to ease their panic. These ideas leap off the page and led to the one really interesting subplot with DragonStar and RiverStar, the twins of Azhure and Axis. I love how these children are made out to be indifferent — even hateful — to their parents because of events they felt while still in the womb. It was incredibly unusual to see children written about in a negative fashion, and all the more intriguing for it.

I leave you with a quote from the book which can very effectively sum up both StarMan and the preceding two volumes: “It was a sadly anticlimactic end to what had been a sometimes grand but often tragic campaign.”

The Wayfarer Redemption — (1995-1999) In some parts of the world, the first three books of this series is called The Axis Trilogy and the first book is titled Battleaxe.  Publisher: A millennia-old prophecy was given when the Forbidden Ones were driven from Achar. And now, the Acharites witness its manifestation: Achar is under attack by an evil lord from the North, Gorgreal-his ice demons strike from the sky and kill hundreds of brave warriors in the blink of an eye. All Acharites believe the end is near. One young woman, Faraday, betrothed of Duke Borneheld, learns that all she has been told about her people’s history is untrue. While fleeing to safety from the dangerous land, Faraday, rides with Axis, legendary leader of the Axe-Wielders-and hated half-brother of Borneheld-and a man Faraday secretly loves although it would be death to admit it. She embarks on a journey, which will change her life forever, in search of the true nature of her people. This grand and heroic story tells the tale of one woman’s plight to learn the truth of her people and change their hearts and their minds forever. She fights against oppressive forces to share this reality and will not desist until everyone knows… The truth of the Star Gate.

Sara Douglass The Wayfarer Redemption, Enchanter, Starman, Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader, Beyond the Hanging Wall, Threshold, Axis TrilogySara Douglass The Wayfarer Redemption, Enchanter, Starman, Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader, Beyond the Hanging Wall, Threshold, Axis TrilogySara Douglass The Wayfarer Redemption, Enchanter, Starman, Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader, Beyond the Hanging Wall, Threshold, Axis TrilogySara Douglass The Wayfarer Redemption, Enchanter, Starman, Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader, Beyond the Hanging Wall, Threshold, Axis TrilogySara Douglass The Wayfarer Redemption, Enchanter, Starman, Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader, Beyond the Hanging Wall, Threshold, Axis TrilogySara Douglass The Wayfarer Redemption, Enchanter, Starman, Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader, Beyond the Hanging Wall, Threshold, Axis Trilogy

Novels set in the same world:

Sara Douglass The Wayfarer Redemption, Enchanter, Starman, Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader, Beyond the Hanging Wall, Threshold, Axis TrilogySara Douglass The Wayfarer Redemption, Enchanter, Starman, Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader, Beyond the Hanging Wall, Threshold, Axis Trilogy


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AMANDA RUTTER, one of our guest reviewers, used to be an accountant in the UK but she escaped the world of numbers and is now living in a fantasy world she creates. She runs Angry Robot's YA imprint, Strange Chemistry. And we knew her when....

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