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Monday, July 20, 2009

"The Gods of Amyrantha" by Jennifer Fallon (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo and Liviu Suciu)

Official Jennifer Fallon Website
Order "The Gods of Amyrantha" HERE(US) and HERE(Europe/Overseas)
Read FBC's Review of "The Immortal Prince" HERE

INTRODUCTION: (LS) The Tide Lords series (books 3/4 already published in Australia will be published in the US/UK markets in 2010 and 2011) is one my big time favorites and I reviewed "The Immortal Prince" for FBC though a bit belatedly for the reasons explained there.

Considering the big twists and turns of the series that start in earnest towards the end of "The Gods of Amyrantha" I truly cannot talk about books 3 and 4 until they come to these shores - though we get some twists and turns in "The Immortal Prince" too, but that novel is somewhat different in focus, being a two character show "Arkady and Cayal" with everything else mostly set-up for what follows.

Since our contributor Mihir is also a big time fan of this series and he expressed an interest in revieweing this novel for us, I will present his review in what follows with some comments from me, each contributor's part marked clearly by intials as usually.

OVERVIEW: (LS) For a general series set-up see my review of "The Immortal Prince" HERE which talks about Amyrantha, its magic, the Tide Lords and the Crasii in more detail.

This is the 2nd book in the Tide Lords tetralogy written by Jennifer Fallon. This foray is published by Tor books, stands at 496 pages and is divided into three parts with seventy one chapters with a prologue & epilogue. The hard cover edition also features a 2-page Global map of the world of Amyrantha.

The book has a multi POVs structure set in the third person narrative and features the following characters:

Cayal, an immortal Tide Lord who is trying desperately hard to "cure" himself of his immortality.

Declan Hawkes, spy master of the kingdom of Glaeba & who is also intrigued by the strange happenings within the kingdom.

Arkady Desean, wife (of mutual convenience only, since Stellan is gay but his kinsman the King strongly disaproves of what he calls "immorality") of Stellan Desean, Duchess of Glaeba, informally trained in the medical arts and with a history degree as an expert on Tide Lords mythology.

Tiji, a chameleon Crasii, who is one of a kind & is a trained spy for Declan Hawkes

Warlock, a (discard) Canine Crasii, who shared a cell & recognized Cayal as a mythlogical Tide Lord and currently searching for a means to save Amyrantha from the Tide Lords.
Boots, a canine Crasii, who helps Warlock & seems to know more than she is supposed to.

ANALYSIS: (MW) The novel starts off within a couple of weeks of time from
"The Immortal Prince" and picks up exactly where that one ended. The various characters are shown to be in different places due to the events occurring in the previous book. Cayal is in Torlenia awaiting Arkady & Stellan who are traveling there for political reasons.

Declan Hawkes is doing spy-work & secret assignments to find out the current identities of the hidden Tide Lords, while Warlock & Boots being Crasii Scards [a special sub-type of Crasii who cannot be vocally controlled by the TideLords] can be recruited as moles for Declan Hawkes though if the newly empowered Tide Lords will realize what they are, it will mean instant death for them at best...

Tiji is the new POV character introduced in this book & she is in Caelum trying to find out more about a certain event when she gets the surprise of her life.

I confess that "The Immortal Prince" was the first book I ever read by Jennifer Fallon as I was intrigued by its premise. The book however completely blew me away with its fast pace, engaging characters & with a magic system which was astronomically based.

The concept of (real, no cop-outs) immortality & the various characters who were immortal & yet so human were also very compulsive to read. Humanity is often a plaything for the immortals, most of which whom we meet in the 2 books so far and who resemble nothing more than any bunch of squabbling, jealous Gods in your favorite mythology with the difference that their powers ebb and flow with the Cosmic Tide.

One must have read “The Immortal Prince” to make sense of the plotting & story-arc in “The Gods of Amyrantha”. The story begins with a prologue which is a snippet of history featuring one of the immortals exercising their power. The plot line then jumps to the recent events & Ms. Fallon is indeed a true story teller as she makes her characters go through some excruciating circumstances while keeping up the pace so as to keep the reader from getting jaded.

The basic thread which propels this tale is the quest of Cayal to end his life, however with the Tide coming back, all the Immortals start resurfacing slowly & steadily. And as with their comeback, old enmities
are also rising and their past doings is becoming of more and more importance in the story so many passages in "The Immortal Prince" only now start to show their true significance.

The book ends with some interesting situations for most of the characters and readers will definitely want to know what happens next, fortunately the series is complete & can be ordered from the Australian shores. I know, I did so with the third book which has now set me on to ordering the 4th book as well.

In the end all I can say is that Ms. Fallon is an engaging storyteller who likes to surprise, shock & keep her audience on their feet with her plot twists, some which you anticipate, others which will completely blow you away. This book also continues the trend and will definitely have you salivating for more!!

(LS) The one thing I want to add is that you may want to keep an eye for the smallest hints about the future since you never know what will become of significance in later volumes.

Great characters and storytelling always show, but adding the unbelievable twists and turns of this series makes it one for the ages. Some of these "rug-pulling from under the reader" scenes are foreshadowed clearly in seemingly throw-away comments as well as in dialog that needs parsing for true significance and many times I was like "no, she (the author) cannot mean that, no way" and later, well...

Highly, highly recommended and in a way these first two books from a duology withing the tetralogy so give some closure though also preparing the way for what happens next.


Cindy said...

I may have to look into this, as if my to read pile isn't large enough by now :)

Rachel said...

Wow this looks really interesting! Oh btw you have an award from me check it out =)

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