|Submitted by Helen Kerslake |
(Feb 25, 2005)
The second book of the Axis Trilogy continues with the struggle of Axis Sunsoar against invading forces into Achar, however his ongoing fight with Gorgrael is really a background plot as focus turns to his battle against his brother Bornheld. We start by reading a short chapter from Gorgrael’s perspective but events closer to home soon overpower this threat and by the end of the book I had almost completely forgotten Axis’ ultimate goal. I would have enjoyed the story more if the author had developed Gorgrael and the Dark Man’s presence. The middle book of a trilogy is always a difficult one to write while still retaining the interest of its readers. It is not entirely new as the reader is familiar with the world and characters, neither is it the ultimate ending with the most impressive finale of all the books. ‘Enchanter’ begins by informing us of everyone’s whereabouts since the end of book 1, but very quickly turns into an account of military tactics, planning and warfare. Almost half the book dictates events that happen rather than how these events affect individual characters and I found myself beginning to lose interest. But I am pleased that I continued, as in the second half of the book the excitement begins. We see characters manipulating others, some torn by mistrust and some by uncertainty in the ones they love, as well as a variety of character developments which I had been longing to see since the characters were first introduced to us. There were a couple of light-hearted moments, such as the comment ‘no birdmen had lost their lives in the battle save one who had suffered a fatal wing cramp and plunged to his death’. This type of insert in a very serious battle really makes its mark on you and the scene felt more believable. I only wish there had been more comments such as this. The lingering rivalry between the two brothers is written in a highly original way, while linking them into both the concerns of the land, the people within the realm, and more importantly the prophecy. I loved reading about Rivkar and her heartbreak at having to watch one of her son’s die and rediscovering the love of a man she had known many years before. The best part of the book came right at the end when we discover secrets about Azhure’s past and her heritage. Looking back you can see the clues and signs which support this newly discovered information, yet could not foresee it until the main characters in the story actually revealed it. This was a cleverly written aspect of the book and left you with some sense of an ending but with many more questions still to be answered in the final book of the series.