Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Caller by Juliet Marillier

Flint is tired; very, very tired and ready to give up.  He's seriously thinking about walking away from his position at court and going home.  However, his second in command has come after him.  He takes him back to court to save his life.  Escaping would mean death for certain.  Staying still gives him good odds at death, but he might live if it he plays it right.

Knopf Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  This is the third book in the series.  The first two set the stage for this huge battle and will make the connections in the story more clear if you read them first.  You can find them at your local bookstore.

Flint is a warrior who does the King's bidding.  He loses pieces of his soul as he does ugly things he's commanded to do.  That's part of why he wanted to escape.  He's close to the edge of breaking and war is close, too.

Neryn is training to become a caller.  This means she has to visit with the Guardians and learn the skills they can teach her.  Otherwise she will never have the power she needs to defeat the King.  While she takes the time to do this, she makes friends with various people and the good folk on the way.  The last Guardian seems to be hiding from her, so it's hard to learn what he can teach her.  Time is running out on her.

The King has turned into a tyrant.  His wife encourages that behavior and suggests punishments that will amuse her.  His right hand man is also sadistic and he controls another caller.  One not so well trained and one that desires power.  This spells disaster for the good folk and their land.

The battle is huge and success has only one bright point:  Neryn.  If Neryn can override the other caller's commands, the rebels can win.  But can she?

This whole series was good.  I became invested in the characters, grieved over their deaths and celebrated their joys, and while it doesn't exactly end up happy ever after, it's close.  I'm going to buy the set for my own library.  They're well worth reading again!

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