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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"The Dark-Eyes' War: Book Three of Blood of the Southlands" by David B. Coe (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Visit David B. Coe's Official Site Here
Read FBC's review of The Horsemen's Gambit Here
Order The Dark-Eyes' War from Amazon Here

Introduction: I came across David B Coe's writing a little over a year, year and half ago, and I was amazed. He is one of my all time favorite fantasy writers. The Dark Eyes' War has been highly anticipated for myself for over a year. It didn't disappoint at all.

The new Blood Wars is looming on the horizon.

The Eandi descendants are marching to take back the lands that were taken from them many years ago by the Qirsi. With the curse of the baskets attacking the Qirsi and killing off whole septs the Eandi believe this is a perfect time to march and take back what is theirs. Stelpana's army has been preparing and forming battle plans. Although many in the army believe that the alliance that has been formed with a small village of Metti (those that use blood magic) isn't the best plan of action, they must trust that the Metti will stay true and fight with them until the end.

The Metti in the army are hiding a secret that could potentially be deadly. They have yet to reveal to the Eandi an ancient curse that causes whatever spells they cast to not turn out right. This secret could be a deciding factor in the war. The Metti have been learning ancient spells that 100s of years ago were sworn to never be used again. With the Blood Wars looming it might be time to use these spells again.

Meanwhile, the Qirsi septs are preparing to face the Eandi head on in battle. The two Metti that Grinsa met on his journey have found a cure for the curse that has been attacking Qirsi magic. Grinsa meanwhile is still fighting with the leader of the sept that his holding him and his family captive. Although he swears to ride to battle with them, the fate of the two Metti that traveled with them is unknown. The a'laq (leader of the Qirsi) believes that if they can be trusted they still must be put to death as the belief is that the Metti are against the Qirsi so they should die. Grinsa is trying to save the two Metti's lives, and earn the freedom of his family at the same time.

Format: The Dark Eyes' War is the third and final novel in the Blood of the Southland series. Blood of the Southland is a sequel series to David B. Coe's first series, Winds of The Foreland. The Dark Eyes' War is high fantasy, with detailed characters, battles, and magic. It stands 363 pages.

In Horsemen's Gambit there was so much build up to this second Blood Wars that it could only be expected that the battle scenes and all involved would be of epic proportions. David B. Coe finishes off his Blood of the Southland series with a bang.

There were so many different threads that were introduced throughout this series that I had my doubts about how they would all come together. Coe eloquently brought together all threads in this novel. It was amazing to watch how every thread moved closer and closer to the epic battle.

The battle of magic that is present is really breath taking. There is enough description to actually get involved with the fight but it isn't overly detailed that it becomes boring. Coe really masters just how much to tell a reader without over telling a story.

In Horsemen's Gambit I mentioned that there was a bit of a slower period as Coe catches readers up on events that happened in previous novels. In this third installment that is toned back a lot. There are still hints about what happened previously but not so much that the focus is taken away from the rest of the novel. It almost feels as though this was toned down and it really allowed readers to jump into this third and final installment.

After three novels a reader should feel so connected to the characters that are present within the story. In this final novel, there was so much connection with the characters that I really felt for every single character, good and bad. This is just an example of the one of many strengths in writing that Coe present's in his novels.

As this is the final book of this series one can wonder if everything is concluded to a readers satisfaction. There is enough conclusion that everything is wrapped up nicely. I do feel as though if Coe really wanted to continue the Foreland series he could but if he choose not to that I would be satisfied with the way it all ended.

In the end, The Dark-Eyes War was everything that I imagined, and caused me to have plenty of nights reading way past my bed time. David B. Coe is a great example of a modern epic fantasy writer and really deserves more attention then he is given. The world he created and brought to readers is vivid and detailed, the characters are three dimensional, there are multiple story lines all twisted into one, and the magic battles are of epic proportions, it's everything a fantasy reader could want and more. And above all these are the reasons that I love David B Coe's writing.


Anonymous said...

As you describe this trilogy, I find myself thinking of Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders trilogy. I think it's the multiple three-dimensional characters whose plotlines all intermingle.

Rachel Heston Davis
Up and Writing

Cindy said...

I got that out of the library but other books kept calling. I will get to it some day! Especially after what you mentioned :)

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the series very, as well as Mr. Coe's other works. Do recommend this series as well as his others


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