Friday, 7 January 2011

Last of the Wilds by Trudi Canavan

Last of the Wilds
Last of the Wilds is the second book on the Age of the Five trilogy. Priestess of the White ended with the aftermath of the religious war between the Circlians and Pentadrians. The five were clearly victorious, but not without some losses.

This book is mostly about the return to normal life after the war. Alliances have been forged to gather help to fight the evil other side, but they remain strong in times of peace through commerce and cooperation. And the Pentadrians are also trying to make amends and figure out how could they have lost.

Amidst it all there is also the personal struggles of various characters: Auraya, who lost the man she loved as he was sent away because he follows a different religion, as well as having to make sense of what she has seen in the war; Leiard, that has to come to terms with the voice in his head, his other personality, and figure out what it means; Emerahl, who has to choose between hiding again or helping her friend...

Like the first book in the series, this one also features multiple points of view, telling the story of different characters that will, in most cases, encounter each other. Although this is usually great, helping to show the different stories, in this book it was a bit too much. The shifting points of view made me queasy - each part was very short, never giving time to "enter" the story before moving to the next one. It was really hard to connect with any of the characters, especially the new ones, at first. Eventually it got better (either the parts became longer or I got used to it) and it was easier to enjoy the story.

Auraya is still a major character, as is Leiard. Leiard I liked from the beginning, and I really enjoyed his parts, especially his inner monologue/dialogue with Mirar. Auraya is starting to grow on me, especially when she shows that she isn't just a mindless follower of the Gods and is capable of thinking for herself – by the end of the book I really wanted to know more of what is going to happen to her.

The inclusion of Reivan made me squint my eyes and say "I see what you did there!". Reivan becomes a Servant of the Gods (the Pentadrian ones), eventually becoming a councillor to one of the Voices. Telling the other side of the struggle gave a whole new depth to the story - suddenly it was harder to "hate" the Pentadrians, because they had faces and you knew their motivations. And to be honest, the Circlians were never the good guys in my eyes. Not that I'm on the Pentadrian side either. (Definitely with the Dreamweavers that don't care for any type of Gods and just want to help people regardless of what they believe.)

If in Priestess of the White there were the Siyee, as a stranger species, not like humans in appearance, but not devoid of Humanity; in Last of the Wilds we have the Elai, creatures of the sea - but not mermaids, that are even more distrustful of landwalkers than their winged counterparts. I really like to read about different races, seemingly so alien, and about their culture and their lives, and these sea folks were a treat for me.

What I liked on the first book is exactly what I liked on this one. The third side of the matter, the world-building, the different races, and the emotional struggle of the characters regarding their beliefs and their way of living. It is all there, and then some more.



  1. HaHa! I'm with you on this. Makes me want to re-read the books. I liked this series too.

  2. Well, I re-read the books and I still have the same opinion ... like you I'd choose the Dreamweavers too.

  3. Dreamweavers are much more sensible than any of the other two :)