Charming Prince Garric, determined Princess Sharina and rejuvenated wizardess Tenoctris were hoping for a bit of rest after their last adventure (2007's The Mirror of Worlds), but circumstances conspire against them in this shallow conclusion to the Crown of the Isles trilogy. The conquered Empire of Palomir, unable to admit defeat, uses human sacrifice to produce an army of menacing Rat Men. Pirates wield the power of Franca the Sky God to bring forth a gigantic worm that feeds on entire towns, and former priests of the Lady of the Grove are entranced by a mysterious entity known only as the Scorpion King. Facing this triple threat with courage, ingenuity and a bit of fancy wizardry, Drake's heroes often glide too easily through their challenges. Though his characterization of women has greatly improved since the series began, most of the people appear bland compared with the challenges they face. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Seventeen-year-old Garric, a simple peasant boy, and his shepherd friend Cashel, leave their village on a journey into the wide world-which gets wider and wider by the day as they meet people of other races, nobles, wizards, fairies, and the occasional gory monster. Meanwhile, their sisters, Sharina and Ilna, seek their own destinies outside the village. Each of the youths has a past shrouded in obscurity, and all of them have some sort of power that they come to discover throughout the novel as they fight Malkar, the ultimate evil. Traveling with Sharina as her protector is the mysterious Nonnus, a hermit with whom Sharina has shared a bond since childhood. Garric has his own help in the old woman Tenoctis, a wizard. She helps him understand the dreams he has of a king from the old days, with whom Garric is somehow bonded. Cashel, too, has a helper: a tiny sprite who rides naked on his shoulder, invisible to most others. The action is fast, there is plenty of violence and gore, and many strange people, beasts, and monsters. Garric and Cashel are likeable, if impossibly dense, but Sharina and Ilna are one-sided characters who are hard to care about. The novel is "the first volume of a continuing saga." VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Lord of the Isles is an interesting book and intriguing as the first in a new series.
First of a fantasy series from an author noted for his military science fiction (Patriots, 1996, etc.). One day scholar Garric rescues a strange old woman from the sea; a wizard of feeble powers but deep knowledge, Tenoctris became entangled in a mighty enchantment a thousand years ago and was hurled through time. Later, a representative of King Valence shows up: Procurator Asera, along with the powerful but ignorant wizard Meder, seeks Sharina, not Garric's sister as everyone had thought but actually the daughter of nobles; she must be conveyed to the royal city Valles. Healer, hermit, and former warrior Nonnus agrees to accompany her. Garric, meantime, accepts a medallion from his father and is visited in dreams by Tenoctris's King, Carus, whose heir he may be. Next to arrive is the drover Benlo, another powerful but unschooled wizard, and his beautiful daughter Liane; Garric and his friends agree to travel with Benlo to meet the latter's mysterious sponsor. After numerous dreadful adventures, both groups will converge at Erdin for some explanations, and yet more puzzles. Shapeless and meandering, agreeable rather than compelling: hardworking but minor league.
An epic with rousing action and characters to cheer for.” Terry Goodkind on Lord of the Isles
“Drake has a light touch with his characters, making them believable and serious without becoming overly ponderous or melodramatic. He employs the standard epic fantasy tropes of action, sorcery, and romance to great effect in this exciting, compelling read.” Romantic Times BOOKreviews on The Fortress of Glas
“Great, gritty realism on both material and magical planes, and Hell quite literally breaks loose on occasion.The audience for this kind of fantasy saga should prove large and ongoing.” Booklist on Master of the Cauldron