Sunday, August 21, 2011

Legacy of Kings by C.S. Friedman

The conclusion to C.S. Friedman's Magister Trilogy.  (First book: Feast of Souls; second book: Wings of Wrath)

Legacy of Kings is an extremely satisfying climax to one of the most enjoyable fantasy series I've read.  Mysteries that are hinted at in the earlier books become clear in Legacy of Kings, and certain characters reach their full and ridiculously awesome potential!

I'm not sure there has been a book of Friedman's that I haven't enjoyed, but I am pretty sure they are getting better with time.  This book had me absolutely riveted and I didn't want to put it down.  Legacy of Kings has lots of exciting action, suspense, and the revelation of mysteries surrounding the system of magic and history of the setting.  It's full of ridiculously epic battles, evolving relationships and a fitting conclusion.

I think one of the best things about this series is its focus on really compelling female characters.  Each of the book covers in the Magister Trilogy (in the current release, at least) feature a beautiful picture of a different woman.  The characters are all very different people and all have interesting combinations of weakness and strength that make them extremely enjoyable to read about. It's not that the male characters aren't interesting, it's just that unlike many authors, Friedman writes women as more than just spunky princesses, objects of desire or other overused archetypes.  Her characters, both male and female, are unusually nuanced.  Characters are not defined entirely by their gender as in many other fantasy stories.  It is especially evident in the Magister Trilogy since gender and its ramifications is a major theme throughout.

The Magister Trilogy is a great story to read based on its unusual and subtle characters, interesting system of magic and exciting plot.  It's a series I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to any adult (there are very adult themes and situations!) fantasy enthusiast.  I can't wait to see what Friedman writes next!

5/5 stars

*This book was provided to me to review from the author/publisher. Legacy of Kings will be on sale on September 6, 2011.

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