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Friday, November 11, 2011

The Seven Towers - Patricia C. Wrede

In some ways, I miss the way fantasy novels were written in the 80s. They were shorter then, and seemed more likely to be one offs. This could be a good thing, compared to some of the recent trilogies turned behemoths that the authors are unable to finish in their lifetimes because the plot lines have become so complicated that it takes forever to write them through.

On the other hand, that can lead to a little less plot development, or plot elements that were less than thought completely thought through. This books walks a line between both.

Prince Eltiron of Sevairn has been ordered to marry a princess from Barinish by his father, but he’s pretty sure that his father’s chief advisor Terrel is behind the idea. Terrel has come to power after the mysterious banishment of the King’s former chief advisor, Jermain.

Meanwhile, Jermain is running for his life, and meets the sorceress Amberglas, and as well as the Wizard King Carachel, both of who warn of an enemy coming from the south. Naturally, this all ties into the intrigues back in Sevairn, where all our characters eventually meet.

The unraveling of the intrigues is an enjoyable story, but the over-arching threat from the South was clearly invented to get all the characters together, and rings a bit false by the end. Still, it’s a decent book, and I’m not sorry to have read it.

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