The Land of Burning Sands: Another well-crafted story

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews The Land of Burning Sands by Rachel NeumeierThe Land of Burning Sands by Rachel Neumeier

The Land of Burning Sands is another well-crafted story from gifted author Rachel Neumeier. Instead of carrying on with the characters from the first book, we interact very little with the griffins and Kes in The Land of Burning Sands. They are a presence, but mostly as a menace overshadowing the developing story. I for one appreciated Neumeier introducing her readers to new characters. So many trilogies stick with the same main characters throughout, and it can get old in a hurry. In addition to new characters, The Land of Burning Sands changes settings as well. Here we get to find out more about Casmantium.

Gereint Enseichen sat on a narrow pallet in the lowest cellar of the Anteirden townhouse, waiting.

Gereint is a geas-bonded slave who is trying to escape the bond. This first sentence pulled me in, and 441 pages and a few hours later, I closed the book on a satisfying, wholly believable conclusion. Gereint eventually meets Tehre, a young lady with a talent for engineering and a gift for making. Between the two of them, they use their various talents and magical abilities to create a solution to the threat the griffins are posing to Casmantium as well as the other two countries that make up the world of these books. Neumeier’s characters will stay with me long after the book is done.

Not every author can pull a reader into a story and make you care about the people involved. Rachel Neumeier has perfected that skill. She has the gift of wonderful writing, intriguing characters, plots that work, and lyrically descriptive passages.

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SARAH WEBB, a guest contributor, is Ruth's sister. They grew up together in a house where books were as important as food and shelter. Sarah reads almost any fantasy and dabbles mostly in the space opera end of the science fiction universe with an occasional break to catch up on the mystery scene. Someday, she will have a house with enough bookshelves to house her collection correctly.

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  1. I’ve been eyeing these books and wondering if they were worth a read. I confess that I was put off by griffins, the same way I’m usually put off by elves; too much of a fantasy construct that can make a book twee. I’ll have to give the trilogy a chance now that you’ve given the first two books such good reviews.

  2. I particularly liked that these griffins are characters and are a race/people rather than treated as sentient animals/bondmates. I hope that makes sense.

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