WARNING: According to a recent announcement on 9/19/10 on her website, bad sales have caused Spellbinder 3 to be discontinued and she is now trying to resurrect her career by starting on yet another trilogy. It is about magicians running theaters and providing 3D experiences to the audience. See details from her announcement in the forum post below.
Smell the coffee folks. It will never be written.
As of 2007, I wrote this review:
I have just finished reading the Exiles books after 10 years, and think they are even better than the first time I read them.
That being said, I have to admit I am wondering if any author has the sheer talent and skill needed to patch up this convoluted tale. And have it make any kind of sense.
I also wonder if it's possible to write the sequel and have it mesh after such a long hiatus.
After reading these two books, I have come to realize that Ms. Rawn will have a hard time finishing this story. She has effectively painted herself into a creative corner. Bear with me a moment.
First and foremost, the story is getting too complicated. Where one or two major groups of families would have sufficed, there are literally hundreds of names the beleaguered reader has to try to remember. Added to that, layers upon layers of shadings and meanings behind every word every uttered by one Gorynel Desse. And with all the names in the two books, I'm not exactly sure he's the only one. Also, there are tales within tales that boggle the mind. You have the 3 sisters' history and the question of Auvry Feiran's true reasons for going evil. There was some kind of cover up there. The divorce and all was some kind of fake maneuver to hide some other events.
Also, you have the Ganfallin revolt over 200 years ago that is tied into the current events, plus the Malerrisi lord and the ancestor of Leninor Garvedian who were in love and tried to revolutionize the magical hierarchy. Or was it the ancestor of Lusira, Alira Gavennos, Tragan Maifirran - huh? You see what I mean here. Not to even get started on who actually colonized the planet of Lenfell, who started the Mage wars over a thousand years ago . . . Spaceships, anyone? There is just too much stuff.
Second, too many characters are aged too rapidly. Cailet is just a young woman at the beginning of book 2 and in 100 or so pages becomes middle aged, empty hearted and bitter. There is almost no fleshing out of her character. After all the time spent on her thoughts and feelings in the first book, to be suddenly cheated of her real growth into a woman is astounding. The reader just has to make the leap and read between her grim faced silences and acid comments to Gorsha. The same goes for Glenin, her doings are only hinted at,and it would have been nice to get a clearer idea of what made her tick other than rigid adherence to the Malerissi Code. Why does power mean so much to her? There are issues left unresolved with her at the end of book 1 that are not continued in book 2, but glossed over. Certainly her relationship with her son would have fleshed out her personality more and made her eventual choices that much more frustrating and heartbreaking. And the last sister, Sarra, becomes a robot in the service of the government, missing out on her children's lives and feeling just about as cheated as the reader at having seen it whirl on by so quickly. It all feels so rushed.
And worst of all is what is done with Collan. Without going into major spoilers here, all I can say is that what we are left with at the end of book 2 is not enough. Not even close. One page of teasing phrases and almost finished sentences. Just two more words in the right place would have given so much! Now, the explanations will need to come by way of flashbacks, or visions- if the third book actually ever gets written. The whole mystery of his true identity is almost given, then tauntingly jerked away.
At last we are left with Ms. Rawn's 10 year and counting hiatus.
Has anyone thought of just writing the darn thing themselves? Anyone? Not even fanfic? Thought not. The truth is that it will take a lot of talent and brain drain to get the next book to be even halfway coherent and not the total anti-climax mess it probably will be.
In fact, at one point Ms. Rawn called on her readers to help her with it. No joke, the request by her was made on her website and has since been removed. But I remember my jaw dropping to my shoes when I read it last year. She emphatically stated that a book takes anywhere between 1 and 5 years for her to write, not to get too exited and please not to tell her our own ideas about who Collan really is. She just needs some help with, you know, the story and stuff like that.
Doesn't that just say it all? Even she can't keep it all straight and in fact said she needed the help to remember what happened. Having just finished this, I can see why. Too many names, too much time gone by for both the characters and for the author.
My advice is: Don't read these books until the last book is out. The books are good enough that it is maddening wondering if and when the author will ever finish it.