This is the first fantasy i have read in a long time. You get to get that feeling of recognition when you read it. Humans, check. Elves, check. Dwarfs, check. Dragons, check. But Margaret & Tracy bring a refreshing angel to the usual settings.
The story starts up with Haplo getting his marching orders from the Lord of the Nexus. Basically he is to scout out someone the lord can use to take over Arianus. Haplo is an interesting figure, he is of an ancient race that once tried to rule the Sundered Realm but they where defeated by another race that wanted to help and guide instead. He is covered in runes of power that he uses for his powerful magic. Frustrating for him he is forbidden to use his magic because it might reveal him and his lords plans for their ancient enemies.
The other main characters in the story are:
- Hugh, an assassin sent by the king to kill the kings son. He owns a flying ship.
- Bane, the young prince Hugh is supposed to kill. He is doted on by almost everyone.
- Alfred, Banes servant, who faints at the sight of violence among other things.
- Limbeg – a dwarf (seg) who’s Why causes a revolution among the dwarves
- Jarre his more pragmatic girl friend
The story takes place in the world of air, Arianus. The land there is consists of Islands in the sky. Transport is done with dragons or with the elves magical dragon boats. Dwarfs live in the Lower Realms and server the great machine. The Middle realm is contested territory, once shared between elves and humans now dominated by the elves, but with weaker human kingdoms opposing them. The Upper Realm is occupied by powerful human mages, who have fled the Elven onslaught. They now seek to conquer the world. Water is a rare commodity in the world of air.
I got to like the characters in the book. Hugh is my favorite even if the protagonist is Haplo. Limbeg and Alfred are lovable comic reliefs.
I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series, there are seven in total. After moving my site.