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5.0 out of 5 starsI love this writer
Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2013
Something magic about Paula and the worlds she creates. Fantastic storyteller. She can make you root for the dark characters as well as the good ones.
`The Wanderers', by Paula Brandon is the final book in what is called `The Veiled Isles Trilogy. I hadn't read the first two books in this series before picking up this copy. I am pleased to inform you that this book also performs well as a stand-alone novella. The plot is easy to follow and the characters are extremely well written. I would put this book in the Fantasy Fiction genre as it incorporates multiple species, a form of Magic seldom used in any other series, and a paranormal aspect with walking dead.
We start the book with a tale of Magnifico Aureste's murder of Magnifico Vinz. Needless to say, this action leads to suspicion, fear and hatred of Aureste for the remainder of the book. Aureste is cleared of the charges and is said to have performed the act in self-defense. However Vinz's 13 year old son, Vinzille, knows the truth of the matter. This serves to divide the group of Arcanists who have trekked far from home in hopes of cleaning the source of their powers. The group was set at six, now with the death of Vinz, they must continue as five.
While Aureste is travelling with his arcane brother, his daughter Jianna is having her own adventure in their home city of Vitrisi. She has joined the resistance against the Tarerleezi conquerors that have ruled over them. Jianna's lover, Falaste, has been captured and falsely condemned for a murder he did not commit. He is held in "The Witch", the impregnable, inescapable prison of the government. Jianna, along with other members of the resistance, join forces to break Falaste from his false imprisonment, but get captured at the gates after being recognized by Jianna's estranged husband. Jianna confesses to the attempt and prays that her uncle Nalio saves her from her death sentence, but that goes unanswered. Jainna and Falaste are sentenced to death by way of the blood being drained from their bodies in front of a crowd of peasants.
With Tarerleezi ruling the lands, the amphibious species of Sishmindris have become a sub-class of citizen used as servants, and those that aren't servants are condemned to live in guarded off areas of the city. They work together with the resistance trying to win their own freedom and return to their original home in the wetlands.
As Jiannas life is about to end, Aureste is giving his own life fighting off the Wanders (living dead) to save his brother. Aureste's brother, Innesq and his five arcane companions are deep in a trance cleaning the Source of evil and the world of dirty magic of the Overmind, an evil entity bent on controlling the world.
When the Source is cleansed, a rush of wild winds, rain and lighting sweep the Isles for three solid days. During the first blasts of wind, Jianna and Falaste are blown free of the jail and their sentence of death.
Upon reaching their freedom they discover that the resistance has secured the government and with the devastation of the storms, the Tarerleezi have enough problems to worry about at home to try to control both lands at once.
I was slightly confused when I started this book, as I had not read the previous in the series, but everything was explained throughout the book so it was easy enough to follow. I wish I had read the first books in the trilogy and will make it point to do so sometime in the future. I would recommend anyone interested in Fantasy Fiction to read this book, but don't make the same mistake I did. Start with the first, and I guarantee you will be enthralled in the depth of character and plot until you finish The Wanderers.
5.0 out of 5 starssuperb finish to a strong trilogy
Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2012
Aureste Belandor kills Vinz Corvestri in an act of self-defense. Magnifico Aureste knows the death of Magnifico Corvestri will have a negative impact on their weary companions as they needed the late mage's skills to help them on the impossible mission of balancing the world's Source of magic before reality is ripped asunder. The team is upset with what some call Corvestri's murder. As their distrust of one another grows, their only hope to succeed is to take a chance on each other and persuade arcanist Grix Orlazzu to join their divided team; but first they must find the recluse.
Aureste's daughter Jianna has little interest in her father's quest. Instead her focus is on freeing her beloved physician Falaste Rione who rescued her from imprisonment by her Aunt Magnifico Onarto; he resides on death row. Her only hope to free Falaste is with Magnifico Tribarri who loathes her. At the same time the undead slaves of the Overmind ravage the Veiled Isles.
The final Veiled Isles fantasy (see The Traitor's Daughter and The Ruined City) is a superb finish to a strong trilogy. Part of what makes this saga so good is that not everyone cares about the impact of the fall of magic that has been a key cornerstone of society for seemingly forever; in fact some rebel as they prefer to takes chances on a new reality without Magnificos dictating their existences. Fans will relish The Wanderers as Paula Brandon provides a terrific taut thriller.
5.0 out of 5 starsExcept for the title and the cover ....
Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2015
The Veiled Isles Trilogy comes to a satisfying conclusion. This gripping fantasy only got better as it progressed. I don't often enjoy a series as much as I enjoyed this one. Perhaps, for me, it was the moral grounding of the main characters. Unlike other authors who seem uncomfortable with a clear right and wrong, Paula Brandon seems at ease with characters who, while complex, aren't twisted into agony by their misdeeds -- or worse yet, reveling in them. I look forward to another venture into fantasy from Ms. Brandon.
My only complaints would be the title (which struck me as ambiguous less than apt for so rich a story) and the cover design, which would deceive the unwary into thinking this book was a romance novel. (It isn't.) You can do far worse that this trilogy. Give it a try.