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.