Ashbar by Alon Shalev
So with a change of blog scenery, I review the "conclusion" to the Wycaan Master trilogy. This section of Seanchai's life may have come to a close, but I have it on pretty good authority that we will be continuing in the land of Odessiya. Plus the not-so-ending ending clued me in to future stories. Now we have assassins, firebreathers, bear shape shifters, and more Wycaans! This just keeps getting more epic.
The amount of character growth and development through this series continues to impress and amaze. I really look forward to seeing where these crazy kids are going to end up. The meek have developed confidence and bravery; the headstrong have developed balance and fortitude; and the confident have been rattled. Magnifico! The land to the west really made me see the great redwood forests in my mind. Love, love, loved the imagery descriptions. They were not too overdone and really led to great visualization.
First we met the elves in a human-only world. They were defeated and suppressed but still trying to make a home for themselves and their future to thrive. Then, we met the dwarves and their struggle against integration after isolation. Now we learn about the Pictorians (really neat species heritage) and the Elves of the West (the great mythos themselves). I really enjoy Shalev's integration of cultural struggle. How free is free? What is too small a population to stand up for what is right?
My only knock to the book, this time I think the editor was on vacation. I stumbled up on misplaced words and some serious typos. It was a bit of a bummer if I really had a great flow going with the story, but it did not ruin the 5 star experience as an overall.
I'm super stoked for more of the Aqua'lanis! What is Maugwen doing? Building excitement.
Here is heading back to the Northern Hills!