“Idriel’s Children” by Hayley Reese Chow

This novel is what I would call Epic Fantasy on a reduced scale. It has the same vast conflicts between races and realms and the same depth of metaphysics as the regulars of its genre, but the characters are restricted to a confined group, and the battles are smaller in proportion.

Conflict exists at many levels: magical, political, personal, family, and perhaps not quite enough internal. The main character, Aza, is a bit too much of the predictable teenager. The whole plotline revolves around the fact that she can be counted on to do the wrong thing. Every time. That sort of thing fades after the tenth instance.

There is plenty of action: chases, fights and magical contests. Interesting characters abound, and quirky personalities are the order of the day. Creatively designed magical creatures also appear regularly.

If I wanted to argue, I’d say there was a little too much staggering through swamps and over mountains in the last stages of exhaustion. This is another type of conflict that tends to pall after a while.

I am also not a fan of deus ex machina endings, which the author uses at key points; the main character gets herself into an impossible situation, and somebody, usually her father, appears out of nowhere and saves her.

Nonetheless, this is a good story with an imaginative setting, leading to an almost-satisfying ending. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, when the battle will continue.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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