|There is something very evocative in Sam Bowrings
writing, something very pictorial, bringing to mind images from fantasy art - something
very ethereal in the style of John Howe. To my mind, it is a great pity that the cover art
does not reflect this. The novel itself is the highest of high fantasy, with great magical
battles and armies clashing, gods disputing, light fighting shadow, and in the middle of
it all, a baby, born of prophecy, body and soul torn in two. One baby is taken by light,
one by shadow, but they are two halves of one whole.
I do rather think that Bowring
somewhat loses the reader in the extended dream sequence which acts as the climax of this
novel, but its still great stuff, and if not wholly original, it does avoid most of
the clichés. One of the strongest moments for me occurs when Losara, near the end of the
world, in the depths of shadow, finds a beautiful and delicate flower. He is told that if
the Light wins, this beauty will be the first to fade, burned away by the brightness. Very
poignant, I thought. Obviously, this trilogy is not going to be one of those routine
fantasy epics, with not a new idea in sight. And a good thing, too.