There are series, and then there are Series. Destiny’s Star is third in a sub-trilogy and sixth in Elizabeth Vaughan’s Warlands saga, so if you’ve never read her books, this is not – I repeat, not – the place to start.
Lady Bethral is a warrior of the Palins, a former mercenary turned Queen’s guard. She and her companion Red Gloves rescued a storyteller named Ezren Silvertongue from torture and death (see previous Star books), and Bethral fell in love with his courage and spirit. But she hid her love from him, not knowing that he returned it in full. Ezren feels unworthy of such a strong warrior – if he cannot control the wild magic raging within him, how could he win her love and respect?
Things would have remained stagnant if Bethral and Ezren were not put to the test: A portal opens in a moment of crisis, and the two are dropped from the Queen’s courtyard into the middle of the Plains. The Plains have been in conflict ever since the Warprize’s coming (see War books). Warrior-priests, warriors, theas (i.e. nursemothers) – all are divided over the imminent changes. In particular, the warrior-priests seek to regain their lost magic, but when they hear that Ezren might help restore their powers, some seek to capture him through dishonorable means.
Now, if all that sounds mega-complicated, it’s because it is. I’ve read the War books but not the Star series, but I followed things well enough, although I would have derived even more enjoyment had I read all the books. The plot was great, well-paced and exciting, and it answers many questions about the warrior-priests. I have some reservations about the solution to the lost magic, which is just too coincidental for my tastes – but perhaps it was explained in previous books. Whatever the reason, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this book should not be read as a stand-alone.
That being said, Destiny’s Star was intriguing enough that I’ll have to dig up the other two Star books. Bethral and Ezren are marvellous characters to spend time with – when we do. In some ways Destiny’s Star is closer to fantasy than paranormal romance, for we spend considerable page time with the warrior-priests (good and bad), the Snake Tribe, and the group of young warriors who decide to quest with Bethral and Ezren. The only scenes that made me impatient were the villain’s, but the other perispectives offer such incredible world-building I can’t complain.
Ms. Vaughan hasn’t finished with her Warlands saga. To be honest, I would love to see her turn to straight fantasy – the author has a gift for bringing cultures and dialogue to life, and I very much look forward to more.
I live in Seattle, Washington and work as a legal assistant. I remember learning to read (comic strips) at a young age and nowadays try to read about 5-6 books a week. I love to travel, especially to Europe, and enjoy exploring smaller towns off the tourist track though London is my favorite city in the world.
|Review Date:||April 17, 2010|
|Book Type:||Fantasy Romance|
|Review Tags:||barbarian | Chronicles of the Warlands | magic|