Solaris, p/b, Â£7.99
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins
Charald’s queen, Jaraile, has been adbucted by the treacherous Baron Eskarnor and it is up to Sorne to save her and protect the ailing king’s reign. Charald’s health continues to deteriorate and if this becomes common knowledge their lives will all be at stake. Young Prince Cedon has been returned to Sorne following his time with the Wyrds and he too must be protected.
Ronnyn and Aravelle have been rescued from the Mieren but they now face separation because of the strict ruling under which the T’En Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods live. After being gift-infused by the causare, Tobazim is craving female gift. If his brothers discovered this weakness the penalty would be harsh. His only choice is to pretend everything is normal and keep as much distance from Imoshen as he can until he can bring his desire to heel.
Imoshen continues to hold onto her position as causare as the T’En exiles sail towards a new life in Sagora. Now more than ever she can begin to make changes to the T’En way of life that may unite the Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods in future. Despite the loss of their home, the Celestial City, for now everything looks as though life may just work out well in the end, that is, if the Sagorans agree to grant them a safe haven.
Sanctuary follows the journeys of Imoshen and the T’En as they continue to overcome the politics and strains between the Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods, as well as tracking Sorne’s mission to save Jaraile and protect Charald’s heir. The pace moves quickly and the book is more action filled than itsÂ predecessorsÂ giving an increased sense of tension and conflict throughout and building to a dramatic conflict which brings the individual story threads finally together and grants long-awaited closure to the main characters.
The one aspect that elevates Sanctuary above the previous two books in the trilogy is that the decisions faced by the characters are somehow much harder and the consequences of the choices more detrimental than anything they have faced to this point, and they have already faced some pretty impossible situations. The result is that, having travelled this far with the characters, the reader has far more understanding of the dangers they are facing and how these will affect their lives, and thus has a greater connection to them.
As a conclusion to the trilogy, Sanctuary delivers all that you would want and exceeds expectations. There is a satisfying ending to the story arc but events also wind calmly down to a point that hints at the possibility of a return to the world in future, which in epic fantasy is always a welcome possibility. Excellent plotting, interesting, likeable characters and a well-detailed and complex world really give this series an edge.