Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book Review: Land of the Burning Sands

Land of the Burning Sands
The Griffin Mage: Book Two

By:  Rachel Neumeier

Publisher:  Orbit Books

Publish Date:  June 2010

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Paperback, 441 pgs - pocket sized

Series:  2nds Book in The Griffin Mage Trilogy, Review of Book 1 Lord of the Changing Winds ~ HERE

Recommendation:  If you enjoy straight forward journey fantasy reads, with some strategy of fighting with out warring and a new element of Griffins.  This is definitely a book for you.

Book Synopsis:
Gereint Enseichen of Casmantium knows little and cares less about the recent war in which his king tried to use griffins and fire to wrest territory from the neighboring country of Feierabiand.  Now, his kingdom's unexpected defeat offers him a chance to escape from his own servitude.

But now that the griffins find themselves in a position of strength, they are not inclined to forgive and the entire kingdom finds itself in deadly peril.  Willing or not, Gereint is caught up in a desperate struggle between the griffins and the last remaining mage...

First Sentence:
Gereint Enseichen sat on a narrow pallet in the lowest cellar of the Anteirden townhouse, waiting.

My Review and Summary:
For a day, a night, and a day slave Gereint hide in the two story deep basement while the desert claimed the newly abandoned city of Melentser, hoping to lose the geas connection he felt to his master.  On the second night Gereint sat in the broken sandy city and watched the sun set.  As he did, he saw the bright griffins fly over him.  Feeling no pull on his geas, Gereint heads North East, opposite of the other refugees and his master.  Only to fall under geas to another man and see more griffins fly by.

We start off with a whole new story.  We follow Gereint through his journey after the destruction of Melentser.  We learn more of his life, how he fell into the trap of slavery of the geas.  But most of all, we learn of the person Gereint is.  I started to understand more of the country Calmantium.  If you read the first book, you will remember this is the country where the Griffins first resided, and now have come home.

Through the book you get the feel for how the people and Cold Mage are apposed to the griffins.  In more than just dislike.  Their is a deeper feeling that these two different magics don't mix very well, and this is shown to you through the acts and feelings of the characters.  I learned more of the Cold Mage and of the Makers that are from Calmantium.

This book struck me as it could be read on its own, not having to have read the first book in the trilogy since we are placed in Calmantium instead of Feierabiand and the story doesn't revolve majorly on the happenings of the first book.  I felt this book was a story of its own.  We do start to touch on the happenings in Lord of Changing Winds around page 72, but remember the people of Calmantium really don't know what happened in Feierabiand, and what you need to know for this story is given to you.

I didn't interact much with the griffins in this read.  They are a constant and are visual through the book.  But not much interaction between the characters and griffins until close to the end of the book.  In this way there is some suspense built to wonder what they are doing and what will happen.

Along with the griffins there is a few characters who come back in this one.  The one main character, which I enjoyed in Lord of the Changing Winds, was Lord Bertaud.  And we have many new characters.  I came to enjoy these new characters very much by the end of the book.

In all I enjoyed this read and will look for the third book of this trilogy.  A wonderful classic fantasy style with a new element...griffins.

I purchased this book for my reading enjoyment

This book qualifies for my Speculated Fiction Challenge hosted by Book Chick City.


  1. Every time I read one of your reviews, I think to myself, "I really need to read more fantasy!" You find some interesting ones, that's for sure. Great review!

    Also, because of a comment I left on your review of Dante's Journey, he contacted me to read and review a copy. I'm looking forward to it =O).

  2. Hi Michelle! Glad you liked the review. :) Oh, and you talked with the author of Dante's Journey! Wow! That is great. I didn't know that was how you got in contact with him. That is great to hear! I have seen there are a few of my faithful followers who are going to be reviewing that book. That must be how he found out about you all. :) So glad to hear that.

  3. I'm looking forward to reading this one soon. Thanks for the review! I'll link it when I do mine. :)

  4. Hi Janicu! Thank you. :) I wanted to stop by and read your review of the first book. I haven't even been on the computer for 4 days! Hard to believe. I will definitely stop by to read your review. :) Hope you enjoy this one when you get to it. :)

  5. I do love the covers of these books. I'm glad you enjoyed it and can't wait for your next review in this trilogy!

  6. Hi Melissa! These covers are really nice. That was part of what caught my attention first, and that they are on griffins. :) Thanks!


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