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.

The Griffin Mage Trilogy — (2010) Publisher: Griffins lounged all around them, inscrutable as cats, brazen as summer. They turned their heads to look at Kes out of fierce, inhuman eyes. Their feathers, ruffled by the wind that came down the mountain, looked like they had been poured out of light; their lion haunches like they had been fashioned out of gold. A white griffin, close at hand, looked like it had been made of alabaster and white marble and then lit from within by white fire. Its eyes were the pitiless blue-white of the desert sky. Little ever happens in the quiet villages of peaceful Feierabiand. The course of Kes’ life seems set: she’ll grow up to be an herb-woman and healer for the village of Minas Ford, never quite fitting in but always more or less accepted. And she’s content with that path — or she thinks she is. Until the day the griffins come down from the mountains, bringing with them the fiery wind of their desert and a desperate need for a healer. But what the griffins need is a healer who is not quite human… or a healer who can be made into something not quite human.

Rachel Neumeier The Griffin Mage Trilogy 1. The Lord of the Changing Winds 2. The Land of the Burning Sands Rachel Neumeier The Griffin Mage Trilogy 1. The Lord of the Changing Winds 2. The Land of the Burning Sands 3. Law of the Broken Earth Rachel Neumeier The Griffin Mage Trilogy 1. The Lord of the Changing Winds 2. The Land of the Burning Sands 3. Law of the Broken Earth


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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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2 comments

  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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