on 2 June 2009
The Last of the Wilds is the second book in the trilogy of the Age of Five, it starts where the last book left off and it changes between the main characters of the book giving their different perspectives on their intertwining lives. It's about an age ruled by five gods who give magical powers to mortals who range in ability with the elite being chosen to be immortals and commune the wishes of the gods to the gods followers. The story includes loyalty issues, love and deception. Well written and an excellent read, would recommend it to anyone.
on 21 July 2007
In some ways I liked this, the second installment of the "Age of the Five" series more than the first. Auraya has become a little less "goody two-shoes" and has shown some spark of character. Mirar and Emerahl have become far more interesting. On the other hand Imi, the wayward princess, is irritating and juvenile in a rather silly way.
However, the stage is set for an interesting theological denoument between the Gods of Northern and Southern Ithania, who don't believe in each other's existence, espeically with Mirar and co threatening to spill the beans about their past. I wonder whether the third installment will in fact end up being split over two volumes. There seems to be a lot going on and unless the end is quite rushed it may be difficult to fit it all in.
On the whole, this is an enjoyable piece of light reading and I am looking forward to the next installment.
Following on from 'Priestess of the White', this is a bit of a disappointment. I enjoyed Priestess and was looking forward to this, the next instalment, but the author has tried a different tack and while it is an interesting diversion, the story end up with too many sub plots and not enough tension. On the plus side there are some interesting aspects of the agendas of the various characters in the book from the Gods to the 'bad guys' which illustrate that good or bad is just a matter of perspective. Having said that, there are too many things going on and the pace is too slow to really enjoy the book.
So, in summary a weak 'middle book' but it looks like the scene is set for an interesting third and final book, so while I didn't overly enjoy this one, I will stick with it and hope for a good final segment.
on 21 September 2006
I read the magician trilogy first and although I enjoyed the books, there were parts that were quite naive. The plot was great but the writing sometimes seemed a bit adolescent, not quite flowing, and this was slightly annoying at times. She's obviously got in a lot of practice by now so the writing in this and The Priestess of the White is much much better. Plot is great again. The books have a cosy feel but she doesn't protect the characters like eg David Eddings, where you can't get involved as it never feels that the characters are in any danger. Anything can happen and she keeps you guessing right the way through. Read it asap.
on 23 April 2012
Last of the Wilds is the second book in the Age of the Five trilogy, after Priestess of the White. Where I had a hard time getting into the book with the first one in the series, with Last of the Wilds I got sucked in immediately. This was partly because it's the second book in the series - the story doesn't need as much set up, plus I wanted to know what happened next after the events of book one - and partly because the prologue was captivating and written from the point of view of one of my favourite characters of the book, Reivan.
One of the things I noted for Priestess of the White was the fact that because they are given no voice of their own, the Pentadrians remain mysterious. This mystery makes them seem far scarier that they perhaps are and more evil, because it allows the Circlians to ascribe all manner of nastiness to them, and neither the ordinary Circlians nor the reader know any better. In Last of the Wilds this ignorance is remedied through Reivan. Reivan is a Thinker, an inventor/scientist, who was drafted into the Pentadrian army. We meet her and the rest of the surviving Pentadrian army as they travel back from the battle that ended the last book. I loved Reivan's voice and her enquiring mind; she's analytical, logical and practical. At the same time, Reivan loves her gods and one of her major regrets is not having any Skills and so not being able to become a Servant of the gods. When she comes to the attention of Second Voice Imenja, she is unexpectedly given the opportunity to become a Servant regardless of being unSkilled and so we follow her into the Sanctuary and get to see the Pentadrian side of life, much as we got to know the Circlian side of life through Auraya in the previous book.
In many ways, Reivan is the Pentadrian mirror to Auraya. Both are young women elevated to unexpected positions and provide the reader with a window on the inner workings of their respective religions. Both have inquisitive minds and ask critical questions, both of themselves and others. They both encounter 'new' races--Auraya the Siyee and Reivan the Elai. It'll be interesting to see how closely Reivan's storyline will mirror Auraya's in the next book, as it will mean some hard choices for Reivan, judging from those Auraya has to make in this one. It is difficult to discuss Auraya's development in detail as it will contain too many spoilers for the book, but she makes some life-altering choices, which I really respected. Reivan and Auraya also reinforce the sense of similarity between the Circlian and Pentadrian religions and make it plain that all is not as it seems with the gods. At times Canavan makes this point a little too strongly, almost hitting the reader over the head with it, though that might just be my perception as I'd already read this book once before and as such already had some inkling of it.
Next to Reivan's additional point of view, we also get new points of view from Mirar and from Imi. Both of them are familiar from the previous book, but in Last of the Wilds we get active points of view from them. Both of them give added perspectives, Mirar on the history of those who opposed the gods and Imi on Elai society and the Pentadrians. I really enjoyed these new viewpoints, especially Imi's; they also give us more knowledge of the different cultures as we're shown new places in Ithania. Together with Emerahl's storyline, we get a comprehensive overview of Ithania's map and peoples. The religious aspect is also deepened by the three of them. Mirar tells stories of the gods, that the gods might not want spread and so gives us more information, Imi learns about the Pentadrian gods, after knowing only the worship of Huan, and gives a refreshing perspective on inclusiveness - if they're not harming anyone, why mind their existence - and Emerahl encounters yet a new form of religion during her travels, the cult of the Maker, which is basically moving toward a monotheistic form of worship. It'll be interesting to learn what this development will mean for the Five, whether the Circlian or Pentadrian ones, and their peoples. Will it mean harmony, as they unite against it, or yet more strife?
As a second book Last of the Wilds is a strong entry in the series. In fact, I'd say I liked this book better than Priestess of the White as it's more even-paced and moves the story on quite a bit. It'll be fascinating to see where Canavan takes Ithania's story, especially as I've never read the final book in the trilogy, Voice of the Gods, before. Canavan has set up some pretty major plot points to be resolved in this last book, such as the true nature of the Five, the fate of the Wilds, the uneasy peace between Circlians and Pentadrians, the rise of the Cult of the Maker and of course the fate of all of our main characters. I hope the ending is as good as I'm expecting, but if Last of the Wilds is any indication, Voice of the Gods will deliver a great ending.
on 30 August 2006
Being a lover of her previous trilogy The Dark Magicians I thought I ought to give this trilogy, the age of the five, a go. I did and boy was I glad I did! It is stunning and kept me wanting more. This book, the last of the wilds, is the second installment in the trilogy and you really see the plot start to unravel and you meet a variety of new characters while seeing the old characters in a new light. Absolutely stunning would recommend to everybody. With a great many unexpected plot twists!
on 20 August 2006
This book was an fasinating read and well worth the wait. It was written excellently and the concepts behind the various use of magic were well explored. We see more from the Pentadrians' point of view and way of life and learn a lot more about the various characters that make up the White, the Wilds and the Elai as well as learning more about the Gods. I found the constant shift of viewpoint distracting and slightly annoying. I can see some of it necessary, but wonder whether some of it was just to fill out the book (I agree that it feels like half a book). I also feel that there are too many sub-plots - too much things going on, but am unable to decide if they're necessary yet because they may prove to be in relation to the final installment. The Last of Wilds feels like its setting us up for something significant in the final book and because of that nothing significant happens in this one (actually ONE significant thing takes place in this one at the end, but not compared to the events in the first book). We learn a lot, no doubt, but there wasn't a particularly satisfied feeling upon finishing it. More of burning desire to read the next one, which is the point I suppose! A very, very good read though. I would definately recommend this trilogy - just dont start reading until all books have been published!
on 27 November 2007
The Last of the Wilds is better than Priestess of the White. It moves along at a slightly faster pace. It also jumps around less. I am not sure if this is because i got used to the stlye or maybe because there were less new characters to introduce. It might just be that this was a better book. I found it more humourous as well.
I think Auraya is a good character but i still feel that shes a little flat. Considering her lingering love for a dreamweaver and her controversial actions at the end of the book I was expecting a few more fire works.
There was a bit of travelling (which is always nice), bringing new scenery with it.
The story again is faultless and fascinating. How can I come to like the Pentadrians?! They have some likeable characters. As the duality of both religious worlds is introduced, this story uncovers part of how they came into being, but not enough. Now you just have to read the next book.