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Australian Spec-fic Authors Challenge 2014 – April Round-Up

destinysriftIn February I read the first book of this trilogy, Prophecy’s Ruin, but, being sick and tired of starting but not finishing series with this challenge, I decided to finish the trilogy.

The whole series is based around the old fantasy trope of the prophecised chosen one, but the trilogy starts with both the forces of light and shadow converging upon the birthplace of the prophecised champion. The opposing forces fight over the infant, the mages pulling with magic to bring the newborn to them and then suddenly there are two babies – the champion’s soul is torn in two. They run back to their respective bases, no one knowing which is the real champion.

As with the first book, the rest of the series continues to turn staples and tropes of the fantasy genre on their head. I personally found Losara (the shadow champion) the far more likeable of the two heroes and truly appreciated the way the shadow people were not shown to be particularly evil – there were dark individuals, but as the series continued various characters on the light’s side started to make questionable choices too.

soulsreckoningI loved seeing some of the locales in the light and shadow realms (though did experience a moment of writerly irritation in the second book when one of those locales was very much like an area in one of my unpublished stories, The Glass Witch, but such is life ;p ).

There are some really inventive species on both sides which I was intrigued by, like the Zyvanix who need two translators when talking to humans, since neither species can speak the other’s language, but they can understand the other, so you need a human translator to say what the zyvanix are saying the the other humans, and a zyvanix translator to say what the humans are saying to his/her own species.

One thing I liked in the second book was a female character was uncertain as to how she felt about having children. This probably sounds like an odd thing to like, but most fictional women seem to either never face the though or be strongly pro- or anti-children. As someone who for quite a while in my younger days was up in the air on the issue myself I like seeing this view shown in fiction as a legitimate option for a young woman (who says you have to be decided yet?).

I definitely enjoyed the books all up, but I did have a bit of a problem with the ending – not so much with what happened (I love the concept of what happened), but more that some things didn’t add up and some questions that I thought the narrative posed didn’t seem satisfactorily answered to me. If you are desperate for the details they’re in my Goodreads review. I wasn’t so disappointed in the ending that it ruined the series for me though and as always it may be something personal to me that made me feel that way about the ending. I still strongly recommend the series to any fantasy fan.

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