Friday, 30 March 2007

Warsworn by Elizabeth Vaughn

Warsworn is the second book of the trilogy that began with Warprize. Starting a few days after the first book finished, it continues the story of Lara and Keir as they journey towards the Plains; where Lara will hopefully be confirmed as the Warprize. Unfortunately before they can get there, events take an unexpected turn and they are delayed near the town of Wellspring.

Warsworn is very much the middle book of a trilogy and I would definitely recommend you read Warprize first. If the first book was a coming together, then Warsworn is where everything falls apart. Your enjoyment of the story will depend on your opinion of Lara's actions and attitude. Is she selfish or just mistaken in her beliefs? Would the situation have occurred anyway or did she precipitate it? Elizabeth Vaughn leaves the decisions up to the reader. Lara, herself, questions her actions, but given the person she is I think if she had the choice to make again she would have made the same decision. She remains true to her beliefs, though it's slightly annoying that she HAS to be right.

As part of this she lies to Keir, which is like a big no-no in Firelander culture. And one of the interesting things in this book is how the decisions that an individual makes impact on others. Lara's decision to heal no matter the cost, Isdra/Keir's decision to ignore Lara...

I admit I struggled on my first read of this book (the review was written after my second read through) and I couldn't finish it. Having read it a second time, I do feel I didn't do it justice on my first read. It may be that I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to read it because the story is completely heartbreaking in parts - have tissues handy. This is one author who is not afraid to let her characters suffer. Thank goodness for Simus's letters which help lighten some of the darker moments.

There are threads here leading back to the first book - Lara is still trying to find out what an ehat is. :) And there are threads waiting for the third book to resolve them, I'll mention those in my review of Warlord.

The beauty of this story remains in the depth of the world building and the attention to detail of the Firelander/Plains culture. And also in the relationships between characters (Epor and Isdra, Keir and Lara, Keir and Marcus, Marcus and Lara, Lara and Gils), who are so well written they seem real.


The Invisible Cystalline Cave said...

It's been so long since I read Warsworn, but I do remember thinking that it was a good book.

Always enjoy reading your reviews, Lesley. :)


LesleyW said...

Thanks Crys, :)

Should have the review for Warlord up in the next couple of days.