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A review on the Tetralogy,
This review is from: Geomancer: Volume One of The Well of Echoes (Paperback)
Instead of writing a review for each book of the tetralogy, I'd like to write just one.
First of all, it's not what I expected given the names of the books. I was expecting a book in a highgly magical world, but this isn't, is set in a low magic world (so don't expect wizards blasting the skies, nor doing anything too flashy). There is magic, or I should better say various types of magic, but it tires its users a lot and can create just minor to moderate effect.
Secondly, these books form a continous story, and should be considered as one big story. In other words, the books are not independent from each other.
The story is about many characters, each of which interesting, with his human frailties and even making mistakes, some even inexperinced and selfish, but that slowly grow as human beings. In their own way they truly make the story more interesting and I actually cared to see what happened to almost each of them throughout the 4 books.
To the story then (in short). It's about a great war on an Island/Continent between Humanity and a race coming from the Void (called the Lyrinx) and now fully established on the continent. Each of them has powerful claws, wings and eat humans, althogh not all of them fly (those who do need magic to aid thier flight, and not all of them are capable of it).
Obviously the story involves characters learning about the world, about magic, about the enemy, the truth behind the war and how to find practical solutions to end it and have all sorts of mis-adventures, being hunted both by humanity's leaders and the enemy and it's quite well presented, with a non-obtrusive writing style with a very good flow, no excessivly long descriptions and loads of action.
My only critique is that he had separated too much his characters for the first two books and a half. The story would split into three threads, and sometimes as many as 100 pages went through before the story would go on with a character and a particular thread, just to be cut again and leaving you hanging, and making me lose interest. This, unforunately has been overdone in the second book, and it's bad because it ruins your immersion in things.
Luckily, the Author learned from his mistakes and he stopped doing this by the middle or so of the third book, making the third book very good, and the forth just excellent, bringing forth just one thread that makes you unable to keep the book down.
In conclusion, even if all books have an underlying great story/writing style:
Geomancer: Great start, but a little fractioned: 4 stars
Tetrarch: Good story, but ruined by excessive number of story-threads: 3 stars
Alchymist: Starts slow, but when all characters are all back together becomes really focused and incredibly good. At the end of the book there is one of the best scenes I have read about (that actually carries on on the forth book) 4 stars.
Chimaera: Ian Irvine's masterpiece. It had me go "wow" several times, and shows how the author has grown up as a writer. 5 stars
Now, I am really looking forward for his new tetralogy (but not the previous one).
I hope this review was useful.