Sunday, November 20, 2011

Leaves of Flame-Benjamin Tate

Leaves of Flame

Benjamin Tate

Daw, Jan 3 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780756407049

For several hundred years the three species have co-existed in a tentative peace by avoiding one another. The Alvritshai, Dwarren and Human races rarely have contact as none trust the others.

Much more than a human, Colin Harten notices the wraiths and their Shadow allies have increasingly posed a threat to the three races. Having mastered three of the five known magic’s while in the wilderness for decades (see Well of Sorrow), he has arranged for his friends the magical Trees to provide some protection to the separate but equal races. However, he knows that is not enough as he realizes he needs them to unite before it is too late; once the insidious enemy gains control of the magic nothing Alvritshai, Dwarren, Human, the Faelehgre spirits of light or even him will survive.

This is a terrific social-military-political fantasy but pales in comparison to the excellent thought provoking Well of Sorrows as the colonization theme of the first tale is replaced by a more standard genre scenario. Still fans will appreciate the exciting escapades in the Tate realm as an increasingly desperate but capable and cynical Colin (instead of the enthusiastic rookie) knows if he cannot motive all three species to unite, the dark Shadows will put out the light.

Harriet Klausner

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