Friday, September 22, 2006

Review: _The Seven Towers_ by Patricia Wrede

A creature rises in the desert moving north toward the seven kingdoms, devouring all magic and life in its path. This is the main conflict driving The Seven Towers by Patricia Wrede. This is a fast paced book with plenty of action due to its setting, characters and plot, which makes it entertaining.

Setting gives the book a reality for the characters to resolve conflicts in. The setting of the consists of seven kingdoms made up of different cultures. Each kingdom has its own ruler and culture. Some have magic and accept its use, while others mistrust magic and its users. The kingdoms do not trust one another, which leads to court intrigue. In the south live the Hoven Thaler, a group of desert nomads that the kingdoms dislike. The author provides a realistic setting to tell her story.

The characters help to make the book entertaining. Several characters play a role in the story. Eltiron is an unsure prince dealing with a moody father and unlikable king’s advisor. Jermain is the former king’s advisor fleeing assassins and trying to understand how life went wrong for him. The enigmatic sorceress, Amberglass, frustrates people with her apparent meaningless talk, but hides a powerful side. Carachel the wizard king wants to destroy the devouring creature; his methods can be construed as evil by others. These and other characters intertwine in a plot with many things happening. Ms. Wrede creates entertaining characters without a lot of description, but through dialogue and action.

A plot with a lot of action keeps the book moving at a fast pace for a lot of entertainment. The book begins with Jermain trying to survive an attempt on his life by border guards. He is saved by Amberglass and spends several days at her tower. In the kingdom of Sevairn, prince Eltiron is told about his arranged marriage to Crystalorn. He does not trust his father’s advisor who is plotting against the throne. The other kingdoms prepare for battle against an invasion from the south while Carachel readies to destroy the Matholych, the life and magic consuming creature. Saving the kingdoms hinges on seven ancient towers of magic left by a dead wizard. Plot threads are deftly woven by Ms. Wrede for a fast paced, adventurous read.

The Seven Towers by Patricia Wrede is an entertaining Fantasy novel. It is a relatively short and a stand alone book. Setting, characters and plot come together in a fast paced story full of action and adventure mixed with some humor. readers looking for a quick read will appreciate Ms. Wrede’s enjoyable book.

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