The Black Library, H/B, Â£17.99
Reviewed By Steve Dean
Tyrion and Teclis are elf twins, one a great warrior, the other a powerful…wizard…wait, haven’t we seen this before? The warrior looks after his brother the mage, who is usually ill?
But anyway, this story begins with the twins in their younger days, just before they come into their powers. They are taken to the Phoenix King’s court to be tested by priests to see if they carry the curse of Aenarion, as they have the titular blood of their ancestor.
Meanwhile, a daemon banished by Aenarion long ago has returned and has sworn to avenge himself by wiping out every one of his living descendants.
The book is divided into two main threads, the story of the boys’ journey and the emergence and growing power of the daemon. The first thread, as the boys meet and greet relatives and strangers, is a deadly dull wander through a landscape peopled by two dimensional, predictable and boring characters. There’s no spark at all, no life or spice. It’s so predictable it’s like you’ve already read the book a dozen times.
The daemon’s thread is little better. There is action here, but it’s mostly bloodthirsty descriptions of the vile acts perpetrated on his victims in unnecessary and quickly tiresome detail.
I must issue aÂ spoiler alertÂ here, as I am about to describe the ending.
When it comes, the ending, although written in the same monotone, has the twins killing a daemon that has just munched its way through hundreds of elite guards like they were the toast soldiers you have with a boiled egg. The warrior keeps it at bay, while the mage communes with a god and channels its power. Not the steady learning of skills for these boys, oh no. One day it’s practising with a tutor, the next god-like powers to kill an almost invulnerable daemon. As this is book one of a trilogy, I really can’t see how the author is going to top that.
Overall then, dull, clumsily written and unoriginal. How this got by the chief accountant, sorry, editor, I don’t know. And two more volumes to come, oh my!