Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Genre: High Fantasy
The Wayfarer Redemption series began with a good start as the author, Sarah Douglass, introduces us to a world under the rule of the Seneschal and the way of the plow. There exist an ancient powerful magic deeply concealed that threatens to change the way of the plow and unveil secrets and truths that are bound by the way of a prophecy.
This series starts with the first three books in the series known as the Axis Trilogy. Starman is the concluding book to this trilogy. Axis, the hero and protagonist of the story, has discovered much about himself on his journey including his hidden powers, true bloodline, and a history that had been shielded from him. Now, he must follow the foretelling of his prophecy which ends by him going into battle with his evil half brother Gorgrael in a final battle where only one of them can walk away alive.
Author Sarah Douglass’s flow of writing in this book takes you step by step through the prophecy and how it coincides with the life of Axis. This process starts from the onset of the book making the story very predictable and leaves little surprise to the reader of the final outcome. The prophecy foretells that Axis will defeat Gorgrael if he is not distracted by his beloved. For Gorgrael, his challenge is to choose between two women Axis loves and use her to distract him in the final battle. Will he choose a woman that will bring Axis' downfall or his own? While reading the book it is very obvious whom Axis true beloved is and Gorgrael's ignorance is both ridiculous and unrealistic. This, however, is only the beginning of the aggravation that stem from within this book.
The first book began with Axis starting out as a great warrior. He was a man that would become even more powerful, strong, and eventually would become a leader to bring together three races. However, as the story progresses into the second and third book, Axis is overshadowed by a character named Azure. Azure is a woman who, for the most part, replaces the position Axis should have had in the story. Azure becomes very powerful in a short time and makes every challenge look like a trifle task. Although I applaud Douglass for creating a powerful female character and diverting from the damsel in distress theme, she does this in the least favorable way and leaves you feeling unwilling to applaud for anyone. Douglass appears to have fallen so in love with her character Azure that she uses her at every opportunity to save the day. Thus, Azure is the one that saves everyone from danger and becomes the hero that everyone, even Axis, depends upon.
While there are several disappointments in this book a good writer can almost always redeem themselves and please the reader by the very way that they write. In fact a well written book can be the turning point in determining its appeal. Sadly, Douglass was not able to do this in Starman. Some of the fault may be given to the editor, but either way, the writing in these books are lacking in caliber. There are parts of the book, for example, where characters are talking in their normal speech pattern and then suddenly take on a biblical / fable-like dialect. Even the narrative takes on a redundant nature in the form of repetitive and cheesy speech.
While this book was full of disappointments and flaws I'd still like to list the pros and cons. So here it goes; the good, the bad and the breakdown!
The Good: There are a few heart-pulling parts in the book that may almost make you cry. Also great cover art by Luis Royo for anyone who is a collector or just fancies that sort of thing.
The Bad: Poor writing and plot work. It lacks depth and the element of surprise.
The Breakdown: I would not recommend this book because the faults greatly outweigh the highlights. Nevertheless, it is not so bad that one would have trouble in finishing it.
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