Author: Daniel Dydek
A world of adventure, lore, mystery, troubled pasts, and a future yet to be seen. I was introduced to the world of the Triumvirs earlier this year, but I only just recently caught up to the current point in the series. Above are the first three books (the third just recently came out!). If you like adventure, and fantasy done in a new way, this is the series for you.
Of the three books, the second one is definitely my favorite. This is probably because the main character, Catie, is fun and relatable for me, and the plot takes you on a quest in every sense of the word. The book also deals with one of my favorite fantasy creatures, and the author put a twist in there that I certainly found fascinating (and unexpected). I also enjoyed the plots of both of the other books and really liked the main character, Keebo, of the third book. I was a little annoyed by Haydren in the first book, but his immaturity at the beginning allowed for a lot of growth in the first and subsequent books.
The individual plots and the overarching plot are filled with enough intrigue to pull you on but with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and make the ending worth the journey. There were a couple times, especially in the first book, where the timing seemed to jump around a little. For example, it seemed that at times the characters moved around very quickly and then dwelled on a particular plot line for a long period and then the narrative jumped again. But, this didn’t take away from the actual story, which is fascinating. You have to keep in mind the scale of the plot goes beyond the book you are reading, though, as this world is part of a larger narrative.
This world is very large. The author is doing more than following the single plot of a single book with only the few initial characters. If you have ever read the Wheel of Time series, I would place the scale of worldbuilding somewhere along those lines. The books aren’t nearly as long as those from the Wheel of Time, but the world is just as large and complex. You get to hear from the perspectives of multiple different characters, and each book adds more to the complexity of the whole world, each building into the grander narrative. In a way, it makes this fantasy series more realistic and relatable to greater number of people than other books in the genre.
Each book adds and explains more to the readers knowledge of this world. There are complex political structures that are not relegated to the humans and you actually get to delve into that facet of the world, not just tangentially. There is also a religious and magical aspect that is treated differently from most of their fantasy books (if the author intentionally includes a religious aspect at all). I think that all these things working together is, besides the plot, what makes this series unique within the genre. The politics are important, but they don’t dominate the characters or overshadow the plot. You get to interact with other creatures of this world in a way that isn’t typically done in other fantasy books. In addition, the magic of this world reminds me a little bit of the theory behind the Codex Alera series, but it is by no means the same. You will simply have to read both to understand as I don’t want to spoil anything.
Also unlike a lot of other fantasy books (or at least, those I have read), this series can be enjoyed by a wide audience. Depending on the family, I would say that this series (so far) would be appropriate for late junior high and highschool, and every age above. While there are some subjects that parents should know about, such as drinking and violence (I mean, this is a fantasy series), there has been nothing that really made me cringe. I have enjoyed the series so far, and I look forward to what comes next!
This is a world with real people (in all their fantastic ways) trying to figure out life, what the world really is, and how they fit into the greater narrative of history. This series can be enjoyed by everyone, and in the middle of all the adventure, mystery, and intrigue, I think you, as I did, will learn a little bit more about how to live with and love those around us.
Blessings to you and yours,
~Madelyn Rose Craig