CM Review - Bone, Fog, Ash & Star
Reviewed by: Ronald Hore
Eliza's birthday was in the spring. It was more than a year since she had made the decision to leave the Mancer Citadel forever, and it had not been an easy year. In her chest, next to her heart, she bore the Urkleis, which the Sorceress Nia had Made. In taking possession of it, Eliza had been able to defeat Nia, who remained frozen in the Hall of the Ancients in Tian Xia. But Eliza felt in her chest, every minute, the limitless depth of Nia's rage. It was a strain that showed in her face, thinner now, with hollows under her eyes.
She had continued her study of Magic with Foss, the Mancer Spellmaster and Emmisarius of Water – and the only Mancer she trusted. He came to her in the desert with books and gossip from the Citadel. He was the Mancer's only link left to the Shang Sorceress. Eliza knew they hoped he would bring her back eventually. She knew even that the idea of bringing her back by force had been discussed and each time rejected. They needed her to be willing but she would not budge.
The third book in "The Last Days of Tian Di" series continues to follow the young Shang Sorceress Eliza as she struggles against heavy odds. Her friend Charlie is in mortal danger from an unstoppable force bent on killing him, and, together with her best friend Nell, the three must flee across the worlds in search of a method to save his life. Pursued by Mancers, Fairies, Dragons, and other magical powers, Eliza must face difficult decisions for a teenage girl forced to become a formidable Sorceress, with few she can trust. In this installment of the epic, readers will often follow Charlie and Nell separately as they try to throw off pursuit.
In her attempt to save Charlie, Eliza must take on a dangerous search for four magic objects believed to hold great powers. The end of the story comes quickly, wrapping up the loose ends with a flourish of magic and some heartbreak.
A complex, highly imaginative tale, readers might find it difficult to follow if they had not read the two previous volumes, Shade and Sorceress and The Unmaking. The author makes use of unusual terms and a large cast of complex characters that might confuse the unwary if they had not had an earlier introduction to them.
This final book consists of 308 pages, plus a one page of acknowledgments and a one page "About the Author," including a black & white photograph. There are two black and white maps in the front pages, one map of the magical land of Tian Di, and the other of Eliza's world, Di Shang. The story is broken into four parts: "Bone", "Fog", "Ash", and "Star", and is further divided into 27 chapters and an epilogue.