Lord of the Isles

by David Drake

Published by Orion 
UK 6.99
625 Pages
ISBN 1-85798-591-5 UK


This a fantasy novel, the first in a new series. The Isles of the title are a group if twenty odd large islands. Each island is ruled by noble families and all the islands overall by a King. The kingship is held by the strongest of the nobles and seems to frequently change hands as ambitious Duke rebel against their King.

The main characters in the story a two sets of brother and sister. Garric and Sharina are descendants of nobles that come to the attention of the powers that run the Isles. Cashel and Ilna are descendants of commoners and otherworldly beings. All four grow up as friends in a small village, but are forced to leave when the world outside takes an interest in them. They are growing up at a time when a thousand-year peak in magical forces is occurring.

I liked the characterisation of this book, with the young characters quite simple at first but quickly growing in power and knowledge as they travel through the Isles. The characters quickly split up, and the plot follows each separately until they all come together at the end. I am looking forward to the next novel in the series, "Queen of Demons", which continues the story.

Overall this book is a very promising start to the series. 9 out of 10.

P.F. 27th June 1999

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© Paul Farris 1999