I actually wasn’t going to get to this until next month but with DNFing Provenance it gave me an opening.
Title: Blade of Empire
Series: The Dragon Prophecy Trilogy; Book 2
Author: Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
ROTS Setting: UU, Medieval, Dragons, Higher Magic, Prequel
Synopsis: As Vieliessar confronts the first waves of the forces of Darkness, her destined Bondmate, Runacar, leads a rag-tag group to war. For centuries, the Elves have hunted the Otherfolk minotaurs, gryphons, dryads, and more considering them beasts. But they have a complex society, Runacar discovers, and though he is an Elf, takes it as his mission to help them reclaim their lands from his former friends and allies.
Recommendation: Adult or late teens. I suggest having at least some knowledge of the World of Obsidian before reading this. That’s not required but I feel it would make just an OK experience into a great one.
There are two main plot lines and the first immediately follows the battle at the end of the first book. We get a bit more from Vieliessar and her group, but eventually we just stop hearing anything from them.
The other main plot follows Runacar, Runacarendalur Caerthalien, as he travels into the West. There he meets up with some of the “Beastlings” and begins to discover how different and similar they really are. This plot is probably the main plot and Runacar does much the same that Vieliessar did for the elves but for the Beastlings. Surprise, surprise they’re actually the Otherfolk and Brightfolk of the other trilogies. (If you haven’t read anything in the World of Obsidian then you won’t know what that means, but then again why are you here?!) Due to the nature of these other Folk Runcar’s experience isn’t an exact mirror but more of a foil.
Runcar’s character itself is both more and less interesting than Vieliessar’s. This is mostly due to him feeling even more lost than she does. He gets a tremendous amount of growth but he’s still inherently insecure.
I was expecting to be much further along in the story than we end up in this book. I vaguely know how this should all end but to get from here to there feels likes it’s going to take more than just a single book.
Something I noticed were a couple of references to pop culture, such as “The Mother of Dragons”. I also caught the tiniest whiff of social commentary but it was subtle (the best kind in fiction) and it didn’t compromise the integrity of the story.
All-in-all it’s a decent middle book, but it had better step it up for the last book. If I were to compare the first two books of this trilogy with the first two books in both the other trilogies then I would have to say that these would be the weakest of the three, so far. Again it feels more like filling in history than telling us the story that would later become history.
Regardless, I’m excited for the last book to come out. I expect it sometime next Fall given what last I’d heard.
- Mercedes Lackey’s Official Website
- James Mallory’s Official Website
- James Mallory Online Journal – current info on the World of Obsidian
Scourge of Fate; Book 3 >>