Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Well, this is it.  Harbinger.  The last Book of the Order by Philippa Ballantine.  I started it a little while ago, but read the majority of it (I think over 200 pages) today, finishing it.  The story took some twists and turns, but overall I enjoyed it.

Like its predecessors, Harbinger begins pretty much where the last book, Wrayth, left off.  Well, a couple of months later (much like Wrayth).  The remains of the Order of the Eye and the Fist are gathering around Sorcha, trying desperately to stay one step ahead of Derodak and the Circle of Stars.  The Emperor, turned against the Deacons, has begun a wave of terror as he attempts to bring the wayward Princes of the realm to heel.  And the Rossin is making his own plans in the middle of everything, managing to keep them even from Raed.  In short, the realm is in chaos and the clock is ticking for the Order as they struggle to stop Derodak from destroying their entire world.

All in all, I enjoyed reading the adventures of Sorcha, Merrick, Raed and the Rossin.  But there were many points in Harbinger where things were happening and I had a difficult time suspending my disbelief.  I feel silly writing that, as Harbinger is a work of fantasy.  But things were happening here (and, I'll admit, a little bit in Wrayth) that seemed a little too unbelievable, even in a world wracked by geists and magic.

Harbinger was by no means my favourite Book of the Order.  Nor was it my least favourite (that would be Spectyr).  I did enjoy reading it, but now I'm ready to move onto something else.  Although I do hope Ballantine considers returning to the world in the future; I would love to see what challenges the Order will face in the aftermath of Harbinger.  It would also be interesting to see some of the struggles the Order of the Eye and the Fist had when they first came to Arkaym.  But that is something for the future.  Now I need to decide what I want to read next!

Sunday, November 17, 2013


After my disappointment in the beginning of Spectyr, I was a little hesitant to begin reading Wrayth so soon.  But luckily that fear was misplaced.  I read over half of Wrayth in one sitting; I would have finished it sooner but I wasn't able to fully devote my time to reading.

Once again, Wrayth picks up pretty much where Spectyr leaves off.  It is two months after the events in Chioma.  Sorcha is still unable to move but she is conscious of everything happening around her.  Even more frustrating, her bond with Merrick is still present but not as strong as it should have been and so she is stuck inside of her own head.

For his part, Merrick has been at Sorcha's side as much as possible, fighting to keep her as his partner.  Unfortunately as one of the strongest of the Order, the new Arch Abbot doesn't want him sidelined for long and is working on getting a new partner for the young Deacon.

But then Sorcha is kidnapped.  Intending to abandon the Order to go search for her, Merrick goes to ask the Emperor's sister, Grand Duchess Zofiya, for a favour.  But events spiral out of his control when he realizes the Emperor's new favourite is one of the men who tried to kill his mother back in Chioma.

Off elsewhere, Raed is hunting down his sister, Fraine.  The princess has been seeking new allies in an attempt to start a civil war against the new Emperor.  And unfortunately for everyone, her newest ally is a geistlord.

Wrayth was an excellent book.  I can't wait to see how the story ends in Harbinger!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


After reading Philippa Ballantine's Geist, I was excited to get started on the second book, Spectyr.  Luckily the library had it, so I was able to get it almost immediately (unfortunately they don't have books 3 and 4, so I had to order them online).

Spectyr picks up pretty much where Geist left off.  Sorcha and Merrick have been sidelined by their new Abbot (he keeps sending them into really boring missions).  Raed is off across the sea.  But the two Deacons receive a vision of Raed in trouble, and so a convenient diplomatic mission sends them off the Chioma, a part of the Empire which is rather unique from the rest because they still worship one of the old gods, Hatipai.

Elsewhere, the Grand Duchess Zofiya, herself a worshiper of  Hatipai, receives a divine message from the goddess.  Zofiya unknowingly sets her free.  And so Hatipai begins gathering her power once again to take control of the world and in the process feast upon the Rossin.

I really enjoyed Geist, so I was disappointed that I had a really hard time getting into Spectyr.  I don't know what exactly the problem was, but I just didn't connect with the story for the most part.  But then the end happened, and now I can't wait to read the next book, Wrayth