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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Elder Magic: Book Three of The Desert Magic Trilogy by Cindy Davis and John Richters



Elder Magic: Book Three of The Desert Magic Trilogy by Cindy Davis and John Richters
Publisher: L & L Dreamspell
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Age Recommendation: 12+
Length: Full Length (303 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 suns
Reviewed by Orchid

The legendary magician Kaen, long thought dead, awakens. Young magician Narle and his healer friend Laan are swept up in the chase to prevent the Elder mage from reclaiming her Talisman and unleashing its terrifying potential. Powerful forces block their way and the huge mercenary, Ramadar, seeks death for all magic users. Narle tops his list. The Desert Magic Trilogy concludes in a clash of forces amidst the crumbling ruins of Kaen’s castle.

Magic, mayhem and evil weave their way through this story. The characters are good or bad, sometimes they go from one to the other. Elder Magic is exactly the right title for this book – the source and spells of the magic used by the mages has been harvested from the magic of the past.

The Talisman of the ancient mage Kaen has been stolen. The thief has also taken half the magic from the node in Worlton. The chest of Dorea who was Kaen’s twin, forces apprentice mage Narle, and healer Laan to set out on a journey. They believe they are going to recover the Talisman, but the chest has other ideas.

On their journey they come across men and women who have risen from the dead, magical amulets with strange properties and spells unkown in their time. Narle and Laan believe they know who is friend and who is foe, but unfolding events cast doubt in their minds.

Magical pupil Josella has the Talisman which is filled with magic stolen from Worlton’s Node, but she has to fight to retain her possession of it. Narle and Laan are not the only ones to follow her across the frozen countryside, but she is determined to use the Talisman to make herself a power in the land.

I enjoyed this book. Set on a planet which is technologically challenged, magic fills the gap. There are good and bad in both mages and the unmagical people. Magic spells are simple, but draw on the mage’s inner store of magic, amulets or nodes. The spells can be very effective, but usually last only for a short time. Sometimes the spells go awry and cause unexpected results.

The journey takes all concerned across the barren and cold wastelands of the country, nearer and nearer to the place the chest wishes to go. The horses carrying the travellers are strangely empathic with their riders and play a big part in the story.

This tale drew me through the pages at a steady pace. I felt I could close the book when I wanted, but knew I would have to go back to find out what happened. Not a novel of extreme excitement but definitely one that gets its hooks into the reader, forcing them to carry on reading to the end.

When I finished reading the last page I was left with a warm, satisfied feeling.

I haven’t read the previous two novels of this series, but if Elder Magic is anything to go by, they should be equally good to read.

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