David’s Review of Dark Haven by Gail Martin

iPod: Yaov. Good stuff!
Backpack: Finally continuing to read R. A. Salvatore’s Cleric Quintet.

I like where she’s going with this. Gail Martin’s third book in the Chronicles of the Necromancer series is out, and she’s chosen to answer a question: what happens in a fantasy world after the big bad is destroyed? A black and white world of moral absolutes can get a lot greyer. Martin has upped the politics and intrigue, setting up factions, each wanting the new king of Margolan dead for their own reasons. A lot of the factions are being opportunistic, taking advantage of the fallout. The protagonists won their war, only to now face a situation where they can’t easily name the enemy attacking them. She’s dealt them a pyrrhic victory. They won their last war but are they too weak to survive the next round?

There’s a bit more romance to this volume, but it’s no detriment. Martin connects her characters on something other than mere appearance, a problem I have with a lot of fantasy. She escapes this cliché. I wouldn’t mind seeing the romance having a bit more conflict, a bit more challenge, but with everything else she’s throwing at them, a little happiness isn’t a bad thing.

I really liked Dark Haven’s battle scenes. I felt like that Martin capitalized on the potential of her characters a bit more, especially Tris Drayke, the Summoner king. The spirits came into play in ways I didn’t expect. This was my only real complaint about the second volume was that she didn’t play as far and wide with the toys she’d crafted as I’d felt she could. She’s making up for it now. One warning, she left it on a cliffhanger, and I’m anxious to continue the story.

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