With The Isle of Battle, the second book of the high- fantasy Swan's War trilogy, acclaimed novelist Sean Russell returns to the world of the Wynnd, a great river that does not always follow the maps and has tributaries in other worlds. The Isle of Battle continues the story of the archer Tam, his fellow Valemen Fynnol and Baore, and several other characters from The One Kingdom. The Valemen gain mysterious new allies and enemies as they search through otherworldly swamps and mountains for their fallen friend, the demigodlike Alaan, and seek to elude Alaan's more-than-mortal enemy and brother, the powerful and ruthless warrior-wizard, Hafydd. |
Readers should not start the Swans' War with The Isle of Battle. It suffers the common trilogy malady of middle-book-itis: it doesn't greatly advance the overall plotline, and though it spends some time bringing readers up to speed on the backstory, it still swamps newcomers with multiple plotlines and characters. Also, the big cast means characterizations are often sketchy; the Valemen become almost interchangeable, and the powerful and intriguing Alaan rarely demonstrates these virtues, since he spends much of his time senseless from critical wounds. Furthermore, many readers will not be pleased that the book's vast cast includes only four women, with only two of them spending much time onstage (in the same body!).
Source: Cynthia Ward, Amazon.com.
Treachery and deceit run rampant throughout a devastated land, spawning dark alliances in the terrible war ignited by the enmity of two families. But unbeknownst to all, there are others who truly control the beleaguered kingdom's destiny -- combatants emerging from eons of restless sleep to renew the bloody terror of a battle older than time.