THE TENTH POWER
Book Three in the Chanters of Tremaris Trilogy
Author: Constable, Kate
Having lost her gift of chantment, 18-year-old Calwyn returns home to Antaris to find a darkness over the land. The dying High Priestess passes on to her the secret lore of the dark magic and sends Calwyn on a mission to find the Wheel of the Tenth Power and use it to mend the sickness in the fabric of the universe. Calwyn would love to come home and hide in the world she grew up in, but it is no longer safe, and she cannot sit by and watch the world she loves die in an endless winter. At its heart, this is a story of taking responsibility, of finding strength even when you think you've lost it all. This satisfying conclusion to The Chanters of Tremaris trilogy will enthrall readers with its well-defined world, characters to cheer on, vivid prose and lessons to ponder. The two-page map helps bring the imaginary land alive, and readers will welcome this final journey with Calwyn and her companions. (Fiction. 12+)
Gr 6 UpIn the final installment of this trilogy, Calwyn, who once had several of the nine singing magic powers (called chantments), has lost all of her extraordinary gifts. Bitterly, she returns to Antaris with hopes of recuperation, but instead finds that a number of the chanters have been affected with a deadly “snow-sickness.” Entrusted by the dying high priestess with knowledge of a wheel that contains the tenth power to heal the world, Calwyn sets out with her companions to track down Samis, a wicked sorcerer whom she had believed was dead, and wrest from him the missing half of the wheel. On her perilous journey, she discovers a long-lost relative, delves deeper into the conflicted relationship with her chanter friend Darrow, and discovers new gifts that lead her reluctantly toward her destiny as the Singer of All Songs. As in the other two books, the detailed descriptions of the settings and the natures of the various chantments are what give the story the richness of elaborate tapestries. There are many characters to keep track of, and while Calwyn's friendship with the healer Halasaa has become more fleshed out, her romance with Darrow doesn't have the intense chemistry demanded of the narrative, and her later relationship with Samis strains credulity. However, there is much to enjoy and ponder in a trilogy that strives to ask hard, thoughtful questions, even if it can't always answer them.Farida S. Dowler, Mercer Island Library, WA
Constable, Kate. The Tenth Power. Mar. 2006. 306p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (0-439-55482-9).
Gr. 710. At the opening of the final installment of Constable's well-regarded Singer of All Songs trilogy, 18-year-old Calwyn returns to the ice priestesses' enclave to mourn her nine lost powers of chantment (magic worked through song). There, hints about a mysterious Tenth Power send Cal on a final quest to cure the “sickness at the fabric of the world,” responsible for a deadly disease infecting her soul mate; for the eternal winter that has gripped Tremaris; and, it seems, for Cal's sense of dislocation from all she loves. True to classic heroic themes, Cal must face humanity's darker afflictionstemptation, nihilism, devastating griefbefore successfully channeling her newly recouped powers into an intense ritual of reconciliation and healing. A few elements feel artificial, such as the curiously sf-oriented back story for Tremaris and the Age-of-Aquarius tones of its magical resurrection, but others, like the workings of the Tenth Power, have the ring of essential truth. Questions about Calwyn's family history are answered here for series fans, who will be eager to see book one's vulnerable, callow adolescent arrive at both fuller self-knowledge and her long-awaited destiny. Jennifer Mattson