Saturday, May 2, 2009

Review: Avempartha


Paperback, 331 pages
Publisher: Ridan
Cover Design: Michael J. Sullivan
Release Date: March 22, 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0979621116

When a destitute young woman hires two thieves to help save her remote village from nocturnal attacks, they are drawn into the schemes of the wizard Esrahaddon. While Royce struggles to breech the secrets of an ancient elven tower, Hadrian attempts to rally the villagers to defend themselves against the unseen killer. What begins with the simple theft of a sword places the two thieves at the center of a firestorm — that could change the future of Elan.

Avempartha is the second book in the Riyria Revelations and picks up about two years after The Crown Conspiracy left off. Royce and Hadrian are off to the eastern wilderness to help the village of Dhalgren to fight off attacks by a mysterious monster. They quickly run into the wizard Esrahaddon, who they set free in the first novel, who claims that the weapon necessary to kill the beast is locked in an elven tower. Of course, the wizard has his own reasons for wanting to get inside. Meanwhile, the Church of Novron is maneuvering to plant a new heir on the imperial throne and thus hoping to gain control of Elan. They plan to accomplish this by having the “heir” kill the same monster attacking Dhalgren. As can be expected with many conflicting agendas, nothing goes according to plan.

The second book in this new epic fantasy series is a bit of an improvement over the first. The plot is, if anything, a little tighter, focusing on the confrontation with the magical beast. There is more background on the main characters of Royce and Hadrian as well as on the Church and the history of Elan. The Crown Conspiracy had a couple places where there was some info dumping close together in the narrative, and Avempartha has this as well, however it is only a minor concern and is otherwise well handled. As in the first novel, the second is essentially self-contained, though it does set up the plot for the next book.

Avempartha is a worthy sequel to The Crown Conspiracy. In fact, I’d say it probably surpasses it. I definitely recommend this new series and I look forward to the third book, Nyphron Rising.

Rating: 8/10

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