Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nightchild-James Barclay

James Barclay
PYR, Nov 24 2009, $16.00
ISBN: 9781591027850

The seven mercenaries that made up the Raven split up in retirement five years ago after the harrowing events in which they and the Dragons saved the world (see DAWNTHIEF and NOONSHADE). However, the Dragons cannot go home and are dying due to the air of the Kingdom of Balaria where they reside and people hunting them as beasts rather than saviors who were critical in shutting down the rift.

Two of the magnificent seven Erienne the Dordovan mage and Denser the Xeteskian mage had a relationship that led to the birth of Lyanna. The Colleges of Magic want Lyanna at all costs as the Lord Mages recognize who she is and what she will do to their positions of power. They believe she is the prophesized NIGHTCHILD, who will unite the four magics currently, divided amongst the colleges and kill thousands in the process. They are coming for the five years old leading to the reunion of the Raven who though they argue, fuss and fight with one another; also unite to protect one another even if the one they keep safe apparently is ripping asunder from within the kingdom leaving thousands dead.

This is a brilliant climax to the trilogy as the “threat” to the existing order comes from within, a five year old magical hybrid. The story line is fast-paced from the onset as fans of the saga catch up with retired friends who gave up swashbuckling and magic to tend bar, raise a child, etc. However, the only thing that could bring together a five year reunion is the threat to one of them. Filled with moral issues bug and small, NIGHTCHILD is a fitting end to a strong saga.

Harriet Klausner

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