Fans of Canavan will be pleased to see a new series from her pen. Once again we visit worlds where magic exists.
Tyen is an apprentice sorcerer in a world where magic is becoming depleted. involved in an expedition to discover valuable artefacts from the past, he stumbles cross something very valuable – a book that was once a woman with the ability to draw knowledge from the person holding it, store it and communicate it. However, this discovery far from being welcomed by his masters, fills them with fear. Tyen finds himself on the run away from his home in Leratia and ultimately away from his world.
Running parallel to Tyen’s story is that of Rielle, a young girl living in a culture ruled by the Angels through their priests. Here again, magic is part of the fabric of society, but strictly controlled. Use depletes it but it can be replaced by creative actions. When Rielle inadvertently uses magic she finds herself on a path that, like Tyen’s, will see her leaving her home and all she loves to travel into the unknown.
This not for the fainthearted. It is long – possibly too long since Canavan is painstaking in building up the situations in which she places her two protagonists; many words are devoted to explanation – mitigated by being presented as dialogue. It is also rather cumbersome since the reader has to switch regularly between the two narratives and it is not immediately clear what the connection will be. One must assume Tyen and Rielle are destined to meet – but when? Tyen and Rielle are engaging characters and their worlds convincing, However, though satisfying for committed fantasy readers, this would not be one to recommend to newcomers.