Sunday, July 20, 2014

REVIEW: The Splintered Gods by Stephen Deas

The Splintered Gods is the second installment in Deas' The Silver Kings trilogy, making it book six in the series including The Memory of Flames trilogy and the standalone novel, The Black Mausoleum. Keeping in mind also that his Thief'-Taker's Apprentice trilogy also ties in to this novel, so all in all it's turning into a saga for the ages.

I recently wrote a rave review for Dragon Queen and this one for The Splintered Gods will be no different, except perhaps more brief. Deas has delivered another meticulously crafted, gripping novel - the perfect sequel to Dragon Queen.

Our protagonists only grow stronger in this book. Zafir is by far my favourite; strong, viscious, resilient, yet now even more complex as she begins to grow weary and her resolve changes. The introduction of The Arbiter Red Lin Feyn as a primary viewpoint adds a tremendous amount to the story, allowing us to learn more about the ancient past of the Taiytakei and further tying elements from the previous trilogies together. Berren/Skyrie becomes even more enigmatic as his character grows significantly in influence, yet we see much less from his viewpoint as the reader.

Deas still keeps the reader on a short leash when it comes to some information, leaving us almost begging for answers. The best part is when they are revealed in tantalizing tidbits that surface at the most unexpected and often undramatic times. Deas continues to draw intriguing links to the previous trilogies, some of which we have been waiting for many years and many books to see resolved.

If you are a fan of dragons, this series is an absolute must read. Deas' incarnation of this timeless beast is fresh, fascinating and one of the best I have encountered. Even when I'm reading while working at the reception of the gym, I have no hesitation in sharing with members what I'm reading, even though they become puzzled and confused at the dragons on the cover because I'm sure they were expecting me to be reading either The Fault in Our Stars or the biography of some quesionably famous sports player.

The Silver Kings, to be released next year, will be the final installment and I'm told by Deas himself, will see the return of characters from The Black Mausoleum. This is incredibly exciting as not only has it been some time since we've heard from the dragon realms, but I'm dying to know what will happen there after now learning about the other worlds from this trilogy. I'm also now hopeful that the confusing and somewhat anticlimactic events from The Black Mausoleum will now have a chance to come to fruition and it will all be worth it.