Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Preludes to War

Preludes to War by Joe     Jackson

The sixth entry of author Joe Jackson’s Eve of Redemption series opens with protagonist Karian Vanador watching her children play, having recently lost her husband Grakin to Dracon’s Bane, although the recent birth of her nieces has somewhat soothed the pain of loss, along with the friendship of a Warlord named Kris. Kari fears war with Mehr’Durillia, and agrees to meet King Morduri Irrasitus by his request of debt to him being due. The main antagonist of the series and an Overlord, Sekassus, is on the hunt for Kari, who battles several of his sons throughout the narrative.

Kari soon joins her companion Seanada and another named the Wraith (whose past he reveals later on) in Mehr’Durillia, agreeing to save threatened vulkinastra, Kari eventually undergoing the process of being turned into a mallasti to conceal her identity. As she crusades against demon princes, Kari occasionally attempts to rally townsfolk to her cause, with mixed results, and receives the occasional peace deal from demon monarchs. Several fights erupt with netherwordly princes, Seanada by her side, and eventually returns to her homeworld, with the story ending on a somewhat bittersweet note.

Overall, this is another enjoyable story in the series, with plenty of well-described action that kept this reader engaged, occasional romance, given Kari’s late husband’s wish not to mourn him forever, and some political intrigue. Given the many races in the series, however, one can somewhat find it difficult to keep track of their defining features, although the appendices after the main text somewhat alleviate this issue. In spite of its shortcomings, this reviewer has definitely been enjoying this dragon fantasy series, and very much looks forward to reading the next entry.

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