Children's Literature - Miranda McClain
Trouble seems to follow Raffi and Galen where ever they go and it is not far behind them in this third installment of the "Relic Masters" adventure series, where, once again, they must come up against the evil Watch and the powerful Margrave. Along the way they are helped by some old friends such as Carys and the Sekoi and they meet some new friends, such as a relic trader named Marco and another keeper named Solon whom Raffi and Galen rescue from the Watch's gallows in the nick of time. Together they search for the most powerful relic yet, Flain's Coronet, which can even control the weather. It will help them put their world back in order, but the Watch seek the coronet as well and are in hot pursuit of the small band of outlaws. In addition to the nefarious Watch, the friends must also match wits the entire Sekoi population who have their own reasons for wanting the coronet, and not only that; but they must also discover who amongst them has been informing the Margrave of their every move. Fans of the first two books in this series will learn more about the mysterious Makers and should anxiously look forward to the next installment after a bit of a cliff hanger ending. Heavy religious imagery holds this saga apart from typical fantasy and the plot is quite original. Reviewer: Miranda McClain
The stakes are rising and the tone is darkening in the third title of this quartet, the science-fictional underpinnings of which are becoming more prominent.
Scholar Raffi and Galen, his Master, are again risking their lives on business of the Order. This time they are exorcising a malevolent spirit, which prompts an even more perilous task: rescuing a captive Relic Master from the gallows of the Watch. But overshadowing their mission is the accelerating deterioration of the wider world of Anara; the Unfinished Lands are spreading, seasons are out of joint and devastating storms leave ruin and death in their wake. Only the forgotten Coronet of the Makers offers any hope—but even if Raffi and his friends could find it, they don't know how to use it! While still evoking standard fantasy tropes, this volume falls more into the genre of space opera than its predecessors. The secrets of the catlike Sekoi, native to the planet, are fundamental to revealing the location and purpose of the Coronet, and hints accumulate that some tragic catastrophe ending the Makers' mission lies behind all Anara's current woes. The climactic integration of visionary mysticism and gee-whiz gadgetry, rendered bittersweet by all-too-human failures, leads directly to a cliffhanger ending.
Anyone who has kept up with the story will be on tenterhooks for the concluding volume. (Science fiction. 11-16)