Friday, October 15, 2010

Review of _Lord of the Isles_ by David Drake

A thousand years ago, an island sinks into the sea by magic. One sorceress saves herself by traveling to the future by her magic. She ends up on the island of Haft, setting dangerous events in motion. This is the beginning of an Epic fantasy series begun in Lord of the Isles by David Drake. Mr. Drake has written many books in both the Fantasy and Science fiction genres. His books are full of action and plenty of lively events. This book is entertaining because it has an action plot, interesting characters, and a grand setting.

Books of any genre need action in their plots to draw a reader into the story. Some Epic Fantasy books start out slowly, taking many chapters before the action begins. Lord of the Isles has an action plot that begins right away. Tenoctris, the sorceress from the past, is washed up on the beach of Barca’s Hamlet. Her presence triggers events that will change the lives of four young villagers. The King of the Isles’s rule is in jeopardy. His queen practices dark magic again st him. Magical forces are building toward a dangerous confrontation. Mr. Drake takes all of his plot threads and weaves them into an action story. Chapters change to different viewpoint characters as he tells the story of each character from their point of view. Each chapter leaves a character on a cliffhanger, adding to the suspense. Action is a major part of each chapter.

Another entertaining factor of the book is the interesting characters. Four young people have their lives change rapidly. They come from a small village of sheep herders and fishermen. Garric reads poetry while herding sheep. He discovers new fighting abilities after leaving the village. Cashel, Garric’s friend, grows with a new magical talent. His quiet strength helps him through many difficult situations. Sharina is the daughter of murdered nobles and embarks on a dangerous trip to her new destiny. Ilna is drawn into darkness with her talent of weaving. The hermit Nonnus is a loyal protector of Sharina with a dark past. All of these ch aracters have flaws and grow throughout the story. They contribute to the entertaining pleasure of the book with likable characters going through challenging events.

Finally, the book’s grand setting adds to enjoyment of reading it. The setting is a strong piece of world building. Mr. Drake created a world with a vast history and interesting cultures. This world is made up of islands that form one nation with a king. One of the intriguing cultures is the Floating Folk. They are tribes of people that live on :boats tied together on the sea. Wherever the currents take them, they go around in a yearly cycle. The Folk hunt whales for their food and building materials. Islanders live in cities that are thousands of years old, which the author makes you see with his vivid descriptions. This book’s descriptive setting brings the story to life. It helps increase the book’s entertainment high.

Lord of the Isles by David Drake is an entertaining Fantasy because of its action plot, interesting characters and grand setting. David Drake is an excellent Fantasy author with a good imagination and who creates an impressive secondary world. He delivers a gripping Epic Fantasy that is the beginning of a new series. I recommend this book to readers who love action and intrigue. Be sure to check out the other books in the series.

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