As you well know, I’d been trying to get a few weeks ahead for November. Well I had a couple of days downtime before the crazy and didn’t want to waste it. I read the entire trilogy in 5 days. There was no pressure, which was nice. A relief really.
Title: The Phoenix Unchained
Series: World of Obsidian; The Enduring Flame Trilogy; Book 1
Author: Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
ROTS Setting: UU, Medieval, Dragons, Higher Magic
Synopsis: Once again Darkness stirs and the Light selects its champions. The problem is that nearly a thousand years have passed and the Dark is nothing more than myth and legend.
Recommendation: Adult or late teens. I suggest having read The Obsidian Trilogy first but that technically isn’t required.
We’re back in the World of Obsidian! It was enjoyable to explore the world by looking at how and why things changed. I love how it built on the world in all directions, not just linearly.
There are two main characters for the trilogy regardless of how much focus is on one over the other. For example, Tiercel is largely the focus of this first book, but Harrier is just as important to the story as Tiercel.
Speaking of Tiercel, he’s an interesting person. He’s bookish and very studious but in spite of knowing exactly where and what we was likely to do for the rest of his life still manages to feel like the average teenager hoping for something more for his life. The eldest son of a minor noble, he was set to sit on one of the many unimportant ruling councils that keep the, now burgeoning, Armethalieh running. When stumbles upon the ancient High Magic from centuries past he unwittingly begins a series of events only the Light itself could predict.
Harrier, Tiercel’s best friend and youngest son of the Armethalieh Harbor Master, is the near opposite of his best friend. He too knows where he’s headed and is really not satisfied by it. If there was any hope of some other outcome he’d seize it with both hands. Instead he’s resigned to his duty……that is until Tiercel’s meddling changes everything for them both.
Their characters are well done. They are real people and that’s easy to see. Occasionally some of their interactions or their reasons for their actions felt a bit forced. It wasn’t anything specific, but the feeling was hard to shake.
The plot was really well done and probably the best of the individual story arcs. You get to see Tiercel and Harrier lose their innocence and while it’s horrible and vile it isn’t done flippantly but used to shape the people they’d become. By the end of the book they’re left beaten, broken and utterly raw…..The perfect state to start forging any weapon.
I can’t not mention anything about the dragons in this universe. I love them. They feel uber balanced and also uber powerful. Great strength but at a cost that is almost too much to bear. It’s why I’m super excited for the prequel Dragon Prophesy Trilogy but pained by the long delay for the second book.
All-in-all, it was a great start to another amazing tale in the World of Obsidian. Similar to the first, but this one stressed different point and aspects which thus led to different lessons being learned by characters and readers alike.
<< Review of The Obsidian Trilogy
Review of The Phoenix Endangered; Book 2 >>
- Mercedes Lackey’s Official Website
- James Mallory’s Official Website
- James Mallory Online Journal – current info on the World of Obsidian