Stormwarden by Janny Wurts

It’s been an awfully long time since I read this but it holds up well.

Set in a world where humanity is in constant threat of annihilation by demons we find a sorcerer called Anskiere arrested for the murder of four thousand people. During his arrest he releases a geas, to the surviving son of his once fellow sorcerer who betrayed him, which forces Jaric to come and find him. In the course of his arrest a brother and sister, Emien and Taen, also find their paths going in very different directions.

I’ve read this series a few times but the last time was probably over fifteen years ago. I remembered most of it but it was very nice re-visiting it. There are three main POV’s; Jaric, Taen and Emien. Each are well written though there is a similarity in that they are all scarred mentally from instances in their childhoods. This does lead to a lot of angst ridden internal monologues though to be fair Taen is not as bad as the two boys. Emien is a really great character in that you can see how someone so sensitive can be lead down the wrong path by both real and perceived injustices. His story truly embodies the idea of each small wrong step can lead to a very dark place. Jaric is set up as the counterpoint to that.

There is a lot of soul searching in these books, as there is in most of Janny Wurts’ books I’ve read, and it can sometimes almost reach the eye rolling stage but I do still enjoy the overall feel of the story. There’s not much merriment or humour but there’s a great story here. The world is very interesting and is one of the better instances I’ve found of blended fantasy and science fiction. It starts off small but becomes more apparent as the story progresses. The history and magic system is well thought out and as usual it has beautiful maps drawn by the author herself (I think).

The language can be dense so might not be everyone, the same with the melodrama, but it is very well written and a great story that holds up very well considering it’s nearly forty years old. Looking forward to the next one.

4.5 stars rounded up

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