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The Rise of the Najd,
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This review is from: Wolf's Brother (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. The awakening of the specialised shamanistic powers, previously untapped in young Najd Kerlew is a really engrossing plot-thread that Lindholm has created in this larger world of herding, travelling and hunting. Equally as engaging if not more so for me is the continued exploration of the tentative relationship between caring herdsman Heckram and flighty healer Tillu.
However, I have to admit to feeling slightly deflated with the final weaving together of all the plot threads in this concluding 234-page story. I believe both `The Reindeer People' and `Wolf's Brother' were originally intended to be released as one volume (`The Saga of the Reindeer People') and while I don't feel the story suffers with being split into two parts, for me there is a disparity between the magical acts (particularly in the final scenes) and the very practical, bordering on `ordinary' world that Lindholm has so carefully cultivated throughout both novels. Unlike the skilling, wit bonds and wizardwood magics of Hobbs trilogies (this author's other alias) that are so vividly explained and believably introduced into the `mundane' reality of the protagonist, I couldn't quite decifer Kerlew's particular brand of shamanistic magic and so when he eventually utilised his powers it was to my mind a bit of an anti-climax and consequently the final reveal didn't really excite me the way I expected it to.
Yet still, this is a fantastically engaging and at times brutal world that Lindholm has brought into being and one that I was left wishing I could know more about. Tillu, Heckram, Kerlew and of all the herdspeople are a heady combination, so I'm at a loss now that the curtains have been drawn on yet another unique land imagined into being by this talented author. More please.