Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring The Stormrider (The Chronicles of the Free People) by Ed Ireland.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book:
Once more, the drums of war echo across the Fairlands. A madman that leads an army of indescribable size and destruction has set his eyes on Andaria. While Hellion wrestles with inner demons, his clansmen prepare for battle. They are eager now to once more engage death, look it in the eye and defy it.
However, the Goddess herself forbids it. The great Mother, the very world they stand upon has become tired once more. She calls her emissaries to insure that the men of Andaria are the first to feel her wrath. The Goddess of the Free People forbids them to go to the aid of the Andarian people. Instead, she sends Hellion on a quest to bring the lost tribes to their new homes in the Fairlands.
In the forests, the children of Andaria seek asylum. They cross the river into the Fairlands, but their destructive ways must not be allowed to mark their journey. Fire has been left to oversee their exodus and insure her own beloved can return safely. As she prepares the clans, the unprecedented formation of the six armies begins. Five allies will join her. The three most ancient races of Gaia put aside their differences and offer support to Fire’s command.
The armies of men and dwarves, still thankful for the Free People’s help in regaining their homes pledge their support as well. Fire finds herself in command of an army the likes of which this world has never seen before. An army that can crush the madman that races along Andaria leaving a swatch of chaos and destruction in its wake.
Still, the wishes of the Goddess cannot be ignored. Andaria must fall. However, the refugees that huddle in the Fairlands must be saved and the pursuing army halted. Fire, suddenly imbued with the gift of realization of who she is, sheds her self-doubt and stands at the head of her armies. While Andaria has been chosen, the madman will not enter the Fairlands! This is her will and her savagery on the battlefield will become legend!
After reading the first book in the series, I was looking forward to its sequel and I wasn’t disappointed.
Picking up after the events in the first book, it focuses mainly on the tigress Fire as she struggles to fulfill her destiny and bind the different peoples together under the threat of invasion by a tyrant ruler named Scorpion.
Despite the focus being on Fire, there is plenty of action and problems for Hellion to deal with, but what impressed me the most was the way so many intricate storylines were tied together in a tidy knot. It’s easy to become lost when working with so many characters and subplots. That and the smooth manner in switching scenes made this an easy and fun read.
The characters were believable and rich. Even the main antagonist, Scorpion, kept things interesting as the author kept him fresh enough to avoid being the stereotypical villain. There’s nothing worse than being able to tell what a character will do before hand, so I enjoyed when my expectations were dashed. I especially enjoyed the ending with the tyrant.
I really enjoyed the story and look forward to the third book in the series and other works by the author.