Sunday, May 2, 2010

Book Review: The Last Stormlord

The Last Stormlord

By:  Glenda Larke

Publisher:  Orbit

Publish Date:  March 1, 2010 (first published 2009)

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Paperback, 608 pages

Series:  First book of the Watergivers series

Recommendation:  Yes.  There is a unique take of water in a "magic" view and a great world that draws you in to see what the characters will be driven to do to survive.

Book Synopsis:
SHALE is the lowest of the low - an outcast from a poor village in the heart of the desert.  In the desert, water is life and currency, and Shale has none.  But he has a secret.  It's the one thing that keeps him alive and may save all the cities of the Quartern in the days to come.  If it doesn't get him killed first...

TERELLE is a slave fleeing a life as a courtesan.  She finds shelter in the home of an elderly painter, but as she learns the strange and powerful secrets of his art she fears she may have traded a life of servitude for something far more perilous...

THE STORMLORD is dying in his tower and there is no one, by accident or design, to take his place.  He brings the rain from the distant seas to his people.  Without a Stormlord, the cities of the Quartern will wither and die.

Their civilization is at the brink of disaster.  If Shale and Terelle can find a way to save themselves, they may just save them all.  Water is life and the wells are running dry...

First Sentence:
It was the last night of her childhood.

My Review and Summary:
This book is set in a world where rain doesn't come regularly and water is a very precious item.  Rains are scheduled by the Cloudmaster, or Stormlords.  Water has to be separated from the sea, as a pure water vapor, then the cloud is moved up toward the moutain ranges so the water runs down toward all the cities again or to the regions to get the water.  The water is released as rain and stored in cisterns to be rationed out.  However, you learn there are many people who don't have water rights and have to buy the water, one way or another.  We start with Terelle in a snuggery with her sister, where their fathers sold them to.  Terelle is twelve and has no desire to be paid to sleep with different men every night.  Then we meet Shale a Gibber who's father named him Shale because he felt he was as useless as a heap of shale.  We take a journey through the lives of these two characters, along with others, as they grow up and learn who they are.

In the first 100 pages I felt I meet all the important characters through the writing of different view points; Terelle, Shale, and from some of the rainlords too.  I enjoyed reading these different views because I got to see the world and learn about the world from different happenings and sides.  I also got to see what the characters where thinking when they meet, then when they separated again.

The world ended up being a great attraction for me in this book.  There are different cultures and beliefs of religion.  Along with these different cultures you see there is a "magic" here, that centers around water - water sensitives.  These are people who can sense and even manipulate water.  There are different levels of ability and there are different types of manipulation.  One is to make the storms or sense water, another is to manipulate paint through water - which can also affect the future.  I think my favorite at the moment is the waterpainters.   Although, how Shale learns to use his water sense is amazing too.

In those first 100 pages not only did I get to see the world at different views and the separation created between all the people, but also the problems that exist in the world now.  The shortness in Stormlords and available pure water.  I did have one question which kept nagging at me as I read with the characters mentioning there use to be random rains and now they had to have a Stormlord to keep water coming for the people, and the land being rather dry.  What was so wrong with random rains, if it had supplied plenty of water and to have lots more vegetation growing? You do find out later in the book some history about the random rains and why the stormlords are needed.

Glenda Larke has created a great world here with different cultures and characters, from Reduners, Albasters, Gibbers, and Scarpens - and we can't forget the Watergivers.  Glenda has supplied us with a map and she makes great use of her whole world.

I felt as if I watched these characters grow up over the span of about six or seven years in this world and even adjust to the world for who they are.  I got to know them and the world together.

After reading this book, I started to think on how careful the charcters where with their water and how sparingly they used it.  Made me think about how we take advantage of always having it.

I am really looking forward to book 2, Stormlord Rising.  I am attached to these characters and this world and just have to know how it all works out for them.

If you would like to stop by Glenda Larkes blog, click here, there is also tabs for to look into other books and such.


I won this book on Twitter from Orbit Books.

This book qualifies for Speculated Fiction Challenge at Book Chick City.


Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Great review Mel! Looks like you're going to be my go-to girl for fantasy!


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Hey Michelle! I hope you are feeling better. :) Thanks! I seem to be on a fantasy kick lately. I am really enjoying them. But I will be getting back to the Urban Fantasy soon as well. :) Glad you liked the review.

Bryce L. said...

I've had my eye on this one, I guess I'll have to give it a go. Thanks for the review, one more on the unruly pile ya big 'ol jerk. :D

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Seak - I hope you enjoy this book. I am really looking forward to the second book. I am thinking, or hoping, there will be more of the plot happening. I really liked the ideas in this book and where the possibilities lead to.

Ryan said...

I'm so excited to read your review of this one, I am going to have to get ahold of it one of these days.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Ryan - Hi! So glad you liked the review. I think you might enjoy this one. I liked the start of this trilogy. And now I am really looking forward to where the story goes next with the second book. It should be coming out this summer, I think. This is another one of those trilogies thats coming out quickly all three books. I am starting to get into a few of these with close releases of all the books. :) Have a great week!

Zia said...

I really enjoyed your review. I think if I ever get a hankering for a solid fantasy book, I'll keep this one in mind.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Zia - Thank you! Glad you liked the review. This would be a great one to keep in mind. :) If you ever get it I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for stopping by!

Simcha said...

This sounds like a really fantastic book. I'm adding it to my wishlist right now. Thanks for the great review!

♫♥✿Chas @ LovLivLife Reviews✿♥♫ said...

I commented over at GR on your review!=) But I wanted to stop here and say that I enjoyed your review!=)

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Chasity - We had a great little chat about this over at Goodreads. I am really glad you liked the review. I really enjoyed this read, so if you get it I hope you really enjoy it too. :)

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Simcha - How did I miss leaving a comment back to you? That is awful of me. I am sorry. I really did enjoy Last Stormlord. Glad you liked the review, and hope you enjoy it. :)

Unknown said...

Finally got around to reading this one and I was not impressed. Too much world building which normally I enjoy but the overall feel of the book was that it was a set up for book two and the books to follow.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Hi Tyson! Glad to see you got to the book, but sorry to hear you weren't much impressed. It does have a lot of world building to it and it does set up for book 2 (and probably 3 too). I have book 2 here to read as well. I have high hopes for the second one though. :) I look forward to reading your review on in it thought. :) Thanks for stopping back to comment! I really appreciate that.