4 February 2016

The Spellsong War - L. E. Modesitt Jr

Image from Goodreads
With The Soprano Sorceress L.E. Modesitt started The Spellsong Cycle, an innovative and compelling new fantasy series that won Modesitt tons of new readers. The Spellsong War will enthrall its readers and continue to build Modesitt's increasingly loyal following.

Anna Marshal is regent of the kingdom of Defalk only a few months after a sorcerer pulled her from her boring life as a music instructor in Ames, Iowa to the world of Erde. With her ability and her integrity she saved Defalk from invasion and became it's regent, now she must defend it against the greedy rulers of neighboring kingdoms who see a weakened state and a possible opportunity.

The Spellsong War was ok. I have to say it was my least favourite L. E. Modesitt book of all the ones I've read to date. I've read only a fraction of the books he's written but it still covers a significant number of books. I thought I'd read enough to say that I'd like pretty much any book he wrote, but this book has revised that opinion.

The main trouble I found with this book was the main character. Anna, who in The Soprano Sorceress is a slightly uncertain woman with a reasonably strong moral compass has become a character with such strong moral views that she wants to force them onto other people and is willing to kill in order to do so. I'm not sure if this is a set up of some description for the rest of the series, maybe we'll see her knocked down a peg in a later book, but I'm not sure. She's too willing and eager to justify her actions, and what we're seeing is a dictatorship in the formation.

This book does have plenty to recommend it. The magic system in use is still an interesting concept, although I'm still struggling to get my head around the fact that she's losing weight by singing no matter how much magic it channels. 

Some of the other characters are interesting to see. I particularly like the child characters, they seem well developed for essentially tertiary characters. 

I'm not saying this book isn't worth picking up, but there are other books, and especially other Modesitt books that I would pick up first. When I read the Soprano Sorceress I was immediately reaching for The Spellsong War. On reading The Spellsong War I didn't feel that same drive.

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