Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Review: _Children of Amarid_ by David B. Coe

The mages of Tobyn-Ser are healers and protectors of the land. People respect them, but something is happening. Suddenly, the mages are killing people and things are changing. In another part of the land, a young man is having prophetic dreams that will change his life. This is the beginning of The Children of Amarid by David B. Coe and the first book of the “Lon Tobyn Chronicles” trilogy. The book has a suspenseful plot, likable characters and intriguing magical elements.

A suspenseful plot keeps the reader hooked for a gripping adventure. This Fantasy novel has a lot of that for readers. It starts out with an attack by mysterious mages with black birds all over the land. Jaryd begins manifesting his powers, so leaves with his uncle to journey to the gathering of the mages. There he soon binds with his hawk familiar and goes on a journey with other mages to confront a long dead mage about the massacres. On reaching their destination, one of the mages betrays the company. A story of ambition, murder, intrigue and justice ensues with sharp descriptions. Mr. Coe keeps the pace of the story moving with plenty of action and quiet interludes of character development.

Likable characters are important to a novel in making a book worth reading. The characters of this book fits this requirement. Jaryd grows from an unsure mage into a warrior that saves the people. He gains wisdom and learns about love while becoming a mage. Help comes from his uncle Baden who teaches him many things and has a strong love for the land of Tobyn-Ser. Alayna is a more experienced mage then Jaryd, but still new to her powers. She starts out resentful of Jaryd, but grows into friendship and love by the end of the novel. All the characters have realistic personalities because of the author’s keen development over the course of the book.

Lastly, the intriguing magical elements of the book allows it to have a lot of action. In this Fantasy world, the mages are known as the “Children of Amarid.” They serve the land of Tobyn-Ser as healers and mediators. All of the mages are bonded to a bird of prey. Those bonded to hawks have weaker powers until they bind to an owl. The Owlmasters are considered the ones with more wisdom and understanding; they rule the order of mages. Also, every mage carries a staff topped by a crystal the unique color of the mage’s personality. Without a staff or bird, the mage is helpless. Their main fear is dying unbonded to a bird because they become trapped ghosts that haunt the land forever. Mr. Coe weaves these elements into an entertaining story.

The Children of Amarid by David B. Coe is a strong beginning of a Fantasy trilogy. The magical elements, characters and plot combine together to give readers a suspenseful story full of action. Don’t miss this book or the other two in the trilogy, The Outlanders and Eagle-Sage.

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