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Booklist 5/1/505Gr. 8-11. Constable's sequel to The Singer of All Songs, 0 2004), a 2004 Booklist 0 Editor's Choice, catches up with former ice priestess Calwyn and her colorful companions some months after their vanquishing of upstart sorcerer Samin. Returning readers must postpone hopes of romance as Darrow withdraws from soul-mate Cal into a depression, while Cal sets off to rescue children imprisoned for practicing chantment, advancing her vision of a world where working with magic is "as commonplace as mending with a thread or fishing with a net." Constable doesn't push the basic attributes of Tremaris or chantment in any new directions here, and the inevitable ebbing of the premise's novelty lays bare weaknesses arising from a somewhat cluttered plot. Even so, Constable's description of a world "trembling on the brink of chaos" is engrossing, and a surprising turn at book's end keeps interest high for the trilogy's conclusion. The publisher will earn gratitude from readers for adding the map of Tremaris, an indispensable reference. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2005 Booklist
PW 3/21/05Calwyn, the heroine from The Singer of All Songs, the first in the Chanters of Temaris Trilogy by Kate Constable, journeys with her friends to faraway Merithuros in The Waterless Sea, to save two children with their gift of chantment (the first book established that, in their world, the song of the human voice is the carrier of strong magic). Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
BCCB Jul/Aug 05
Heben, an exile from one of the Seven Clans who rule the desert isle of Merithuros, is saved from pirate slavers by a group of magic-using chanters that includes Calwyn (from The Singer of All Songs), a gifted chanter with a talent for learning new kinds of magic. Eager for aid but still suspicious of his rescuers’ talents, Heben recruits the chanters to help him save his brother and sister from imprisonment and death on Merithuros for the crime of using their magical gifts; in the process of their rescue, however, the chanters destroy the center of government and incite an apparently long-overdue civil war. Only a great sacrifice by Calwyn can heal the soul and ease the thirst of the parched land itself—a sacrifice which takes from her everything she holds most dear. Beginning several months after the previous title in the Chanters of Tremaris trilogy, this volume alternates between the challenges facing Calwyn and her group and the solitary reminiscing of Calwyn’s love interest, Darrow, over his troubled childhood and adolescence. Two themes run through the tale: the liberation of chanters from the limits placed on them by centuries-old prejudice, and the death of the land of Merithuros as a result of its owners’ wanton ecological malpractices. While the first theme appears in many different situations, the second is concentrated in the illness and near-death of Calwyn and one of her friends, a narrow focus that may cause that particular struggle to seem melodramatic. In addition, the blandness of Calwyn’s character may distance some readers from the impact of her loss—especially since it seems highly likely she’ll get it all back (and then some) in the third book of the trilogy. Still, fantasy lovers will recognize in this fast-moving epic a substantial offering in the traditional style. A map is included. TC
CONSTABLE, Kate. The Waterless Sea. 314p. (The Chanters of Tremaris Trilogy Series). CIP. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. 2005. Tr $16.95. ISBN 0-439-55480-2. LC 2004011223.
Gr 6 UpPicking up within six months of the end of The Singer of All Songs (Scholastic, 2004), Constable has created a worthy sequel. While Darrow has temporarily removed himself from the others to sort out some thorny personal issues, Calwyn and her friends are trying to liberate five chanter children who are being held in the Palace of Cobwebs in Merithuros. Without realizing it, Ca