The Compass of the Soul

The Compass of the Soul
River into Darkness #2
Sean Russell
Fantasy
3 Stars
353 pages

whew. This was SLOW! Just like McKillip has her own unique style, so does Russell it appears. It is definitely not for everyone and I am hesitant to read any more of his stuff. 

Basically, Eldrich [the mage] stops the last of the Tellerites [rogue mages who want the arts to continue] and uses tons of people to gain this end. 

A sad and melancholic story. Not nearly as enthralling as the Swan’s War trilogy.

BENEATH THE VAULTED HILLS

BENEATH THE VAULTED HILLS
River into Darkness #1
Sean Russell
Fantasy
2 Stars
451 pages

The last of the mages who is determined to end magic. A schism of mages who want to revive magic. And all the people who are drawn into this battle.

Basically follows several people as they attempt to find the entry way to Faery, the source of the mages power and the source of the mages themselves. Ends up with everyone trapped in some caves and finding their way out.

As in The Swan’s War, this was slow, understated and more about the characters than anything else. Unlike The Swan’s War, this was bone dry, boring and the characters came across as cardboard. Maybe I had too high expectations from earlier Russell…

The Shadow Roads

The Shadow Roads
The Swan’s War #3
Sean Russell
Fantasy
4 stars
433 pages

The conclusion to The Swan’s War trilogy.

Alaan, Elise and their respective groups face off against Hafydd and his. Death, also known as Meachi, is trying to get free from the spell that walled him in from the living. Everything comes together quickly in the end and Death is walled in again, Hafydd goes back to the river and Alaan and Elise go their ways. The groups all go back to their ways of life, forever changed. To be honest, it seemed a bit too pat and quick. I enjoyed the ending, but with such humble beginnings[the feud between the Will’s and the Renne’s], to escalate things to Death himself trying to walk the earth again, it just seemed almost anti-climactic.

Well written, well thought out though. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this trilogy and am looking forward to re-reads already 🙂

The Isle of Battle

The Isle of Battle
The Swan’s War #2
Sean Russell
Fantasy
5 stars
467 pages

Absolutely fantastic.

Haffyd goes after Alaard to kill him and Elise chases after Alaard to save him. Fills out the picture in regards to the Children of Wyrr, who have taken on human hosts to live again. Engaging, quick [not slow like

The One Kingdom] and opens up an even bigger world than we thought. Wyrr, and his Brother Aillyn are at odds.

I know this is a trilogy, so I have to wonder how Russell is going to wrap everything up in 1 book.

The One Kingdom

The One Kingdom
Swan’s War #1
Sean Russell
Fantasy
5 stars
517 pages

A land was torn asunder in the distant past by 3 siblings. Today the land groans under a schism of two families. But the Siblings’ spirits have returned to finish what they could not last time, conquer all. Follows the adventures of different people caught up in this whirlwind. 3 people have been “possessed” by the ancient siblings and those are the characters we follow.

VERY slow for the first 9/10th’s of the book and no huge gratuitous displays of magic. Which is a nice changeup for me in a fantasy trilogy. I’m looking forward to the next book.