Reviewed by Alex S. Bradshaw
The final book in the Technomage Archive trilogy, Legacy, takes place ten years after the second; The Untouchable has returned and conquered the world and the Charons fight him from the shadows. This time our protagonists are Saryn and Chuckie Tidwell and they soon find out that they may be on the wrong side.
Before anything else, this book does have a ‘previously on’ section; this is something I think should happen more often in speculative fiction so I’m pleased the author included it here.
Given that we leap from the events of the previous book and have to catch up with the strides that have been made in the technology used to both subjugate and free the populace of Erlon Legacy increases the amount of explanation by comparison with the second book. I could understand the need for it but felt that this was a move away from the faster pace of book two and towards the same problems of the exposition heavy first book as it could be awkwardly placed and slowed the pace in places.
Instead of following Ceril Bain in this book we follow Saryn and Chuckie Tidwell, the last two members of the team we started with in Birthright. The pair are now married and deeply in love but I did feel that the author could have reminded me of that a little less (maybe I’m just a bit of a cynic with that kind of thing). Keeton did use the dynamic of having a scholar and a soldier together to ensure that the reader was never left in the dark; if Chuckie was ever unaware of anything Saryn would be sure to explain. As mentioned, this did mean the reader wasn’t lost but also messed with the pacing.
I would have liked to have seen more inner conflict with the characters. Although they had plenty of physical conflicts to deal with, the action scenes in the book were thick, it never seemed that they were tested in anything other than the physical: Saryn had to work her way around a problem every now and again but Chuckie was ever the stalwart defender and protector. I think this was most telling in the dialogue as the pair seemed to be cracking a joke, explaining something, or saying how much they loved each other.
One of the secondary characters, Bali, was one of the more interesting people within the story as she had been freed from the Untouchable’s brainwashing but when faced with him finds it hard to reconcile the god she meets with the false idol she knows he is.
At its core the writing itself was solid; there were no glaring issues with grammar or phrasing that meant I was left confused as to what was happening so I was able to eat through the pages quickly.
Overall I would say that, although the author took a step forwards in terms of the epic scale of the story there was a step backwards in terms of the exposition and pacing. The core ideas that have carried through the series were present and intriguing but fell short of their potential in the execution. Another solid novel that, I think, lives in the shadow of the second book in the trilogy.