10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just couldn't put it down
Glenda Larke's writing is one that is a pure joy to behold, its clear, it has great passion and the characters not only stand on their own two feet but they're people that you'd like to hang around with (for the most part.) Add to this a vivid world that is not only concisely generated but one that the reader feels that they know intimately almost as if they were an...
Published on 31 July 2011 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing conclusion
i loved the first of the trilogy (5 star) the second wasn't as good but you expect that (4 star) this grand finale was disappointing after the great build up. it leaves too many unanswer questions and gets the conclusion over too quickly.
Published 4 months ago by sliverfox
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just couldn't put it down,
In this the third offering in the series Glenda really takes the plot forward with cracking pace, wonderfully descriptive prose and of course allows the fates to generate new plot based on the characters choices from the previous titles. Finally add her inventiveness alongside an identifiable writing style and the reader really is in for a treat. For me, this is perhaps her best series to date.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It never rains but it pours,
Despite there being a map of the land where the story takes place at the start, and a glossary of terms and characters at the back, it makes no concession to those who haven't read the first two volumes. The story starts not long after the ending of book two. And thus new readers to this series are advised to start with The Last Stormlord (Stormlord Trilogy) instead.
Jasper and Terelle still have a lot to contend with. From power hungry Laisa and her equally obsessed daughter Senya.
The tribes now led by his brother Ravard.
The fact that Jasper can't move storms without the help of Terelle's powers.
Her family history and how it's calling her home.
And then there's deposed highlord Taquar, who is locked up but possibly not finished.
Over the course of this volume the story is brought to a conclusion, as all these disparate strands are all eventually dealt with.
All the villains of the tale have very believable motivations. None being evil just for the sake of it.
And as with the second volume, Jasper and Terelle have to struggle against their destiny and the roles others have in mind for them in order to take control of their own lives.
Jasper is absent from a lot of the middle of the book as it follows Terelle on her journey home. This section does introduce some decent new characters.
And the ending of the story does bring the trilogy to a complete conclusion, tying everything up very nicely.
As before it is somewhat grim at times, but never gratuitious.
And by the end you will be sorry that you won't be reading more about these characters. Any story that makes you feel that way has done it's job.
A very good end to a very good series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conclusion to a dark but entertaining fantasy trilogy,
This review is from: Stormlord's Exile (Mass Market Paperback)This is the last volume of a three-part fantasy story set in a world where water is the most precious and scarce resource, and the population are entirely dependent on a small group of people born with special powers over water for their survival.
None of these novels really stand on their own, they are three parts of one substantial story which must be read in the right order and consists of
1) The Last Stormlord (Stormlord 1)
2) Stormlord Rising
3) This book, "Stormlord's Exile".
SPOILER ALERT: nothing in this review is a spoiler for "Stormlord's Exile" but it is impossible to describe the setting for this third book without some mild spoilers for the first two, so if you have not read them, follow the link to The Last Stormlord (Stormlord 1).
Most of the action of all three books is set in a region called "The Quartern" because it is divided into four sub-regions:
* The Scarpen quarter, the most prosperous of the four sub-regions, in which a row of five cities have been built along a massive escarpment, including Breccia, capital of the Quartern, and Scarcleft where much of the action of the trilogy takes place. There are also two port cities and one city on the far side of the Warthago mountains, near to the Red quarter.
* The Red quarter, a huge desert inhabited by tribes of redskinned nomads each of which inhabits one of the great sand-dunes of the quarter. The people of this quarter are known as Reduners and are the fiercest warriors of the Quartern.
* The Gibber quarter, a plain to the east of the Scarpen between the Warthago range and the sea, in which the people of the poorest sub-region eke out a hard living, and
* The White quarter, inhabited by a white skinned people known as "Alabasters" or "Basters" for short, and characterised by a great salt desert. The Alabasters trade with a country to the north east called Khromatis which is not part of the quartern. They have a complex relationship with the people of Khromatis, the explanation of which forms part of the story of this final volume of the trilogy.
All four quarters are short of water: the population has been boosted to well above what the natural supply of water would permit by the talents of men and women who can control water and bring rain. Those with a strong ability to control water are called rainlords, and those with an exceptionally strong ability are called stormlords. The ruler of the Quartern is called the Cloudmaster, an office to which the most powerful stormlord is usually appointed.
An important element of the economy of the quartern in general are large herbivores called "Pedes" which come in two kinds, Myriapedes and Packpedes. Both kinds can be used as pack animals or ridden: these creatures have some of the characteristics of real-world centipedes (multiple body segments, armoured hides, their feelers are a more important than their eyes) and some of those of camels (can go for a while without water, can cross the desert.)
At the start of the first book, the quartern faced a crisis because there were not enough rainlords and stormlords to supply the water which the region needs.
The last stormlord, Cloudmaster Granthon Almandine, was old and dying, and was using the last of his strength to continue bringing water to the Quartern. It was obvious that when he died most of the population would soon follow him unless a new stormlord could be found quickly ...
By the start of this third book, two of the cities of the Scarpen quarter have been sacked by Reduner armies during a particularly horrible war fought over water. A new stormlord has emerged and has taken the name Jasper Bloodstone.
Jasper has won the position of cloudmaster and defeated the Reduner army which had invaded the Scarpen and sacked two cities. The charismatic tyrant who led that invasion was killed in the battle, but despite the defeat his army is still dangerous and his successor, Sandmaster Ravard, remains a threat to the peace-loving peoples of the quartern. That particularly includes those Reduners who do not recognise Ravard's authority, among whom Rainlord Ryka Feldspar has settled with her husband and their baby son.
Jasper's power over water is far greater than any of the Quartern's rainlords, but he is not able to supply the entire quartern with water on his own. He can do so with the assistence of Terelle Grey, but she will shortly have to make a dangerous journey with her great-grandfather to Khromatis, the land of her ancestors. When she gets there, her great-grandfather's ambitious schemes may be even more dangerous to her than the journey ...
Jasper, Terelle and Ryka all need to beware of the possibility of treachery from those around them ...
Some very clever world-building. Though this series is a bit dark in places, I can recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great ending to a brilliant series,
This review is from: Stormlord's Exile (Kindle Edition)And so on to the final part of the 'Watergivers/Stormlords' trilogy. At this point, I'm sufficiently invested in the characters and their world to care deeply about what happens to them. I have no expectations, going in, as to where the story will end up. The obvious possibility is a simple return to the status quo - Shale and Terelle will succeed in finding a new source of water-power (whether from the mysterious Khromatis or elsewhere) and everyone will settle down to rebuild the Scarpen cities with water supply assured.
But there are other potential outcomes too. It may be that the stormlord approach will fail utterly, and there will be a return to the time of random rain and everyone will have to adjust to a new, more flexible, way of life. But there is also the question of why there is a problem with rain in the Quartern at all, given that elsewhere water is plentiful. So it may be that some way will be found to change the climate entirely. This will still require a lot of adjustment, but it might be a better long-term solution. So the author could go in any one of a number of different directions, all with satisfying and emotionally resonant endings.
There are some implausibilities creeping into the plot, the convenient secrecy of the Alabasters, for instance. And Shale's propensity for rushing off to deal personally with whatever crisis is going on makes for an exciting ride, and is consistent with his personality and age (he's still a teenager, after all), but it isn't very sensible, given that he's the only stormlord left in existence. And I have to agree with the (several) characters who pointed out to him that going off to talk to his hostile brother in his own camp, and almost unaccompanied, is a seriously stupid thing to do.
And then there's Bice and his motley collection of sons. The bad guys have been a little too openly evil right from the start, but at least the likes of Taquar and Laisa have a certain charm. Bice, however, has none, and I find it difficult to accept a character who is so instantly aggressive and murderous. I like my villains to have at least a little personality. Besides, the obvious response to Terelle turning up out of the blue in Khromatis is to disbelieve her story entirely. She can't become Pinnacle unless she is accepted as the rightful heir, yet Bice never questions her ancestry.
Somehow this book seems a little more uneven than the previous two. Minor skirmishes early on become unexpectedly fraught, while other situations which should have been hazardous or difficult pass off unexpectedly easily, almost frivolously. The acquisition of new stormlords passes almost without comment, even though all indications are that the Khromatis will be highly unwilling to help out, and one of them, at least, is taken forcibly. Virtually nothing is said about whether their powers are even suitable (I recall just one casual comment), even though this is a crucial factor in the entire trilogy. Some aspects of the plot, and some minor characters, are dealt with in an almost perfunctory way. There were a number of places, too, where I lost track of who was speaking and had to reread carefully to work it out. This happens occasionally in every book, but it seemed a lot more frequent here than in the previous two. And there were quite a few small typos towards the end, as if the author was rushed.
I also felt there were some loose ends left dangling. I half expected Bice to make a reappearance, for instance, and I was surprised we never heard how Jade learned of what happened to her two sons. Much was made of keeping this from her, so I would have expected the point to be resolved. Nor did we ever find out how Khromatis coped with the loss of the rightful heir. Again, much was made earlier of the point that the position of Pinnacle was inherited and there could be no other option. And we never did find out exactly why the Quartern had so little rain when seemingly other parts of the world were generously supplied. I suppose it was just a climatic shift, but it would have been nice to know if this was natural or man-induced or magical, at the least.
But, niggles aside, the major plot points were resolved in suitably dramatic and satisfying ways (some twists I saw coming, but others were a complete surprise). The final confrontation with Ravard was particularly poignant, encompassing both tragedy and humanity. I didn't foresee Shale's final decision, but it made sense. The last chapter felt slightly rushed, though - not much more than a quick summary of where everyone ended up, almost as an afterthought.
Overall, this is a nice example of what fantasy should be. Larke's world-building is excellent, and while the level of detail is no more than in many other books, she is quite brilliant at keeping the reader fully immersed. She is a painter with words, using just a few brushstrokes here and there to sketch in the background in the most economical way. She uses a few simple tricks ('ye be going...' or 't'see...') to suggest the dialects of the White Quarter and the Gibber Quarter, and even the multitude of swearwords (sunfried, sandbrain, pedeshit...) constantly reinforce the hot, arid nature of the Quartern and its sheer differentness. It's great fun to visit Khromatis in this book, and encounter natural rain (and even snow!) from the perspective of the water-starved Quartern folk. The plot rattles along nicely, building slowly but inexorably to the major confrontations, which are not always resolved by brute force. In addition, the main characters are likeable, but with enough quirks to make them interesting, the magic system is both simple and powerful (and creates numerous entertaining and original ways of fighting and overcoming obstacles), and the plot derives almost entirely from the situation. Only the slightly over-the-top evilness of the bad guys detracts, and mostly there is enough depth to make them believable.
I always like a book that makes me think, and there's plenty here to ponder - the origins of religion, for instance, or the nature of prejudice (each of the regions has its own set - Scarpen folk are scathing about dark-skinned 'Gibber grubbers', but perfectly accepting of sexual preferences), or the necessity for killing, even in time of war, and whether you would ever sacrifice the life of your own child for the greater good. Then there is the matter of family loyalty and how far it should stretch. And perhaps the largest question of this book, set in a land of severe water shortages - how to distribute what resources you have, and whether it's better to build vulnerable cities or try to live more simply in harmony with the landscape. Cleverly, Larke never beats the reader over the head with her own views. Rather she allows her characters to put forward the alternate positions, so that, for example, when two infants are (separately) held as hostages, their fathers take different stands on whether to try to preserve the child's life, whatever the cost. All in all, this is very elegantly done.
I have to say that it's a long time since I've enjoyed a fantasy trilogy this much. Often they start well, but bog down in overly complicated plot developments, or the characters fail to develop believably, and more often than not they concentrate on the action scenes or the grand confrontation in book 3 to the detriment of everything else. Larke avoids these pitfalls, and adds a layer of subtlety, and a spare, clean writing style, which make every chapter a joy to read. I don't often give 5 star reviews, and by itself this book would perhaps just fall short, but the overall quality of the series deserves it.
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing conclusion,
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good read.,
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant series,
This review is from: Stormlord's Exile (Kindle Edition)I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. Desperately wanted to finish, but also wanted it to continue. Brilliant writer, this is the first series of hers that I have read, will be looking for more.
4.0 out of 5 stars long,
This review is from: Stormlord's Exile (Kindle Edition)it gets very wordy and I think loses sight of the plot or just gets to complicated for its own good
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent end to a great trilology,
This review is from: Stormlord's Exile (Kindle Edition)This is the first time I have read anything from Glendale Larke. I will certainly look for her other titles. Well worth reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing trilogy,
This review is from: Stormlord's Exile (Kindle Edition)This trilogy has been an absolute pleasure to read with interesting characters throughout who you can associate with and really sympathise for. I have loved every second and couldn't put it down. This book in particular is a thrilling end to a fantastic journey and for me, well worth buying.
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Stormlord's Exile by Glenda Larke