Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Last Paladin-Kathleen Bryan

The Last Paladin
Kathleen Bryan
Tor, Mar 2009, $15.95
ISBN: 0765313308

Averil has become the queen of the Kingdom of Lys with the death of her wicked uncle King Clodovec. However, the evil he did lives after him; there is no good interred with his bones as the sorcerers who used her odious relative continue their quest to bring forth the Serpent God of Chaos and their soulless armies continue to kill anyone in their path.

Averil knows she must confront the amoral sorcerers before the Serpent God arrives; if she fails to stop their incantations in time, Chaos will rule over Order. Her magecraft bondmate Squire Gereint reluctantly supports her quest to take the battle to the enemy, but her loyal subjects fear her death means the end of the Light. None can prevent the final war between Order and Chaos with the Serpent God apparently ready to lead Averill’s enemies.

The final War between Order and Chaos (see THE SERPENT AND THE ROSE and THE GOLDEN ROSE) is a great ending to a strong quest trilogy. The courageous Averil and her brave bondmate have gained wisdom as both sadly understand what she must do. However, it is the Serpent God who makes the tale as he also comprehends that even Chaos has a need of Order. Although the ending appears too formulaic for this extremely complex character driven fantasy saga, Kathleen Bryan’s fans will relish the final battle between the forces of Order and those of Chaos.

Harriet Klausner

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