by Jennifer Fallon
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
496 pages; ISBN: 0765309882
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Tor, Jul 2005, $25.95, 496 pp.
In Sanctuary, the last King of the Harshini Korandellan believes the war is over with the recent surrender of the Defenders of Medalon to its neighbor Karien. Many of the Defenders fled to the wilderness as outlaws. The only hope for Medalon resides with another neighbor Hythria, but its Krakandar Province Warlord Damien Wolfblade has internal problems while struggling to replace the recently deceased High Prince as the country’s leader as a rival wants the throne. The only hope for the Harshini is half-Harshini-half-human R'shiel, the demon child, who must confront Xaphista, leader of the triumphant Kariens.
R'shiel strengthens Damien’s position by arranging a marriage between the beleaguered Hythria leader and Princess Adrina of the fourth neighboring realm Fardohnya as a further buffer to halt the Karien assault from destroying the remaining two countries. Still with the help of half-Harshini Brak, R'shiel knows the time for her confrontation must happen soon before the Harshini become too weak to survive.
In spite of a recap (that will irritate readers of the first two novels), fantasy readers will find it better to read the first two novels (see TREASON KEEP and MEDALON) to gain a better understanding of the complex relationships; it is worth the time and money. The story line contains several subplots that smoothly converge for a fantastic climax. The saga provides an intriguing look at political necessities to rule while centering on R’shiel learning on the job yet knowing the confrontation that awaits her in which failure means the end for the Harshini and the devastation of three of the four countries. Book Three of the Hythrun Chronicles is a fitting heroic end to the Demon Child’s epic saga.
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