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Reasonable effort... (A Book Swede Review)
on 16 August 2007
Voice of the Gods is the final installment in Canavan's more adult trilogy, Age of the Five. Her earlier, and internationally bestselling series, The Black Magician trilogy was OK, but I found this trilogy much more fun, and to be better written.
War, temporarily averted in Book two, Last of the Wilds, returns. Auraya, extraordinarily Gifted, and one-time Priestess of the White (the high priesthood that personally serve the Gods) has been expelled from the White for refusing to murder the Immortal, Mirar, with whom she has fallen in love. Instead, she returns to Siyee to protects the people she has taken as her own.
It's nice to see strong, clever female characters in fantasy. They often tend to be neglected, or forced into stereotypical roles... I was therefore, slightly disappointed that Auraya seemed to take a bit of a step back from the action in this book. She plays a large part, but doesn't seem to actually do much. Though undoubtedly necessary for the plotline, I would still have liked her to be more directly involved.
It was interesting to see the Points Of View, equally, of both sides in the war. As in many conflicts, both sides' causes for war were much the same; manipulation by their leaders (in this case, the Gods of both sides) was responsible for the hatred and religious fervour fueling the bloodshed.
Much more of Canavan's own views of religion came across in this book than any of her others, I felt. Particularly in the epilogue at the end, which was brilliant and unexpected. The whole scene was reminiscent to me of the Roman acceptance of Christianity, this time with the Emperor of Sennon deciding to stop all the bloodshed by accepting, though not necessarily believing, in the belief of One God.
Mirar, the Dreamweaver, didn't get to maximise his full potential in this book; he seemed to be almost overlooked. It was nice though, to see some of the other Immortals play a large and crucial part in the story.
The revelations about the Gods were also interesting, and explained a lot that had come before in Priestess of the White and Last of the Wilds. However, the huge revelation to Auraya & co. came as little surprise to me. By the end of Book 1, I had guessed the true nature of the Gods, and I was rather disappointed when it actually came about. As a result, the ending felt a bit rushed and anti-climatic. Nevertheless, Voice of the Gods was a good read, slightly below par on the rest of the series but still a worthy conclusion to Trudi Canavan's second trilogy.
7 out of 10. It wouldn't have taken much to make this 8. I'll be interested to see more of Canavan's future work. She will be returning to the world of her first series The Black Magician Trilogy, for some more books, I believe.
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