Epic fantasy found an exhilarating new voice in Robert Newcomb, whose monumental debut novel, The Fifth Sorceress, was hailed by readers and critics alike. And now, for all those spellbound by the tale of Prince Tristan, heir to the throne of Eutracia, his twin sister Princess Shailiha, the ancient wizard Wigg, and the fate of their enchanted land, there is indeed more - much more - to be told....
For three centuries, Eutracia was a kingdom at peace, ruled by a benevolent monarchy and guided by a council of wizards. But a horror from the past, long believed vanquished, returned with devastating fury. And when the battle against the bloodthirsty Sorceresses of the Coven was finally won, victory was not without its price. Now, the royal palace lies in ruins; the king and queen, the royal guard, and the Directorate of Wizards are dead; the land is lawless; and Prince Tristan - forced by the Coven to murder his father, the King - is a wanted man.
In a cavernous underground labyrinth, once headquarters of the wizards’ council, Tristan has taken refuge with his sister, Shailiha; her infant daughter; the wizard Wigg, the lone surviving member of the Directorate; and the crippled wizard Faegan, returned from self-imposed exile in the forest of Shadowood. Together they face the daunting task of restoring order to Eutracia and winning back the allegiance of her subjects. But suddenly, even these challenges pale beside a truly terrifying turn of events. The sacred jewel that is the source of all magic has inexplicably begun to lose its power. Without its age-old enchantment to sustain their spells, the immortal wizards will perish...and magic will vanish from Eutracia forever.
At the same time, a mysterious and ruthless mercenary has declared a bounty upon the head of Prince Tristan. And an army of wizards on a mission to rid Eutracia of monsters created by the Coven has fallen prey to an insidious breed of creatures - beings that can only have sprung from forbidden use of malevolent magic. With time and their powers dwindling, Wigg and Faegan desperately seek to discover who, or what, has succeeded the dead Sorceresses in laying siege to Eutracia. But when the shocking truth is revealed, and an evil that transcends life itself is made known, it is Tristan, more than any other, who will be stunned to his very soul. And it is Tristan who will be thrust into the ultimate battle - for his life, his land, and the course of his destiny.
This book is about our young hero having to face an enemy of tremendous power who ends up being one of his relatives. In this book there is more world building and character development of our hero and his twin sister. The narrator was again very good, as John Lee tends to be. If they publish the third installment of the series I would buy it immediately. It doesn't stand up to Sanderson's work, but few do and a book near or over 20 hours is a plus for me.
Is there anything you would change about this book?
I would certainly recommend changing the narrator on this book. See the reasoning below for a more detailed description.
What other book might you compare The Gates of Dawn to and why?
The author of this book has a slightly similar writing style to Terry Goodkind. Therefore, I would compare it in some ways to the Sword of Truth series. However, this author tended to continually call the characters by their title rather than their names, as if the audience is not very intelligent. I do believe this aspect gets a little annoying.
What didn’t you like about John Lee’s performance?
John Lee sounded as if he were getting confused in the narration quite frequently. He would routinely give a character the accent of another character, and some of the voices he used did not seem to fit with the characters or the emotions the author was attempting to portray. I believe this detracted from the overall story of the book.
Was The Gates of Dawn worth the listening time?
Yes, I would recommend listening to this title. However, as indicated from my notes on the narration I would give it a higher recommendation with a different narrator.