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Friday, February 21, 2014

Dryad-Born by Jeff Wheeler

Dryad-Born  is book two in Wheeler's Mirrowen trilogy, continuing the adventures of Tyrus, Annon, Paedrin, and Hettie in their struggles against the Arch-Rike and the plague that has devastated the kingdom for generations.

Annon, the young Druidech, remains the least interesting of the characters, despite the importance of his role.  Even his adventures have a sense of distance about them.

Hettie and Paedrin's personalities are more volatile, more passionate, and their relationship is complicated by their very different cultural backgrounds.  In Fireblood, these two were the most engaging characters, and they continue to add spice to the story.

Several new minor characters were added toward the conclusion of Fireblood, but Dryad-Born introduces several more.  It is the introduction of Phae, however, that prompts a new and appealing angle to the plot.  Phae and her capture by the Quiet Kishion add an intriguing and crucial element to the story.  

As in Fireblood, the story jumps from one set of characters to another, but Phae's story becomes the most engrossing.  She is the key to saving the kingdoms from the plague and if the Arch-Rike can't control her, he will destroy her.

This second volume in Wheeler's trilogy improves and advances the plot line.  Some episodes drag a bit, and the writing feels less stilted, but lacks a consistent flow.

While Wheeler doesn't make my list of  "favorite fantasy authors" with Robin Hobb, Kate Elliot, Patrick Rothfuss, George R.R. Martin, or Tolkein in the high fantasy series category or Megan Whalen Turner and Sarah J. Maas in YA high fantasy,  he has written an entertaining series.

Wheeler spins a complicated and multi-faceted fantasy with likable, ambiguous, and villainous characters at odds with one another.  There is plenty of adventure to be had in this trilogy, and I look forward to the next and final installment.


Fantasy.  2014.  Print version:  463 pages.
When I was trying to think of my favorite authors in fantasy, I found myself bogged down in the sub-genres.  I stuck to high/epic fantasy series, because that is where these two novels belong.  However, there are so many sub-genres that I enjoy and didn't mention those or their authors.
Do you have favorite authors of high fantasy series? What are your favorite sub-genres of fantasy?


  1. I really need to read Kate Elliott. I have a couple books by her, but haven't read her yet. And I wish Patrick Rothfuss wrote a little faster!

    As for me, I like Robin Hobb, Sara Douglass, Patrick Rothfuss, and others that I am not thinking about right now. In YA I definitely like Megan Whalen Turner. And others. Diane Wynne Jones is a good fantasy author.

    I just STOLEN SONGBIRD by Danielle Jensen. It was good!

  2. Kelly - I haven't read Sara Douglass, but I've heard good things about her books. I like Dianne Wynne Jones' books, too, but that is what I mean about all of the sub-genres. There should be (probably is) a sub-genre that includes DWJ and Terry Pratchett, both fit in the YA category, too. Someday, I'll list some of my favorites and try to place in various categories. Some will fit into several categories at once. :)

  3. I've been wanting to read Patrick Rothfuss forever.

    I loved the Lord of the Rings books by Tolkein. I also really like Melanie Rawn, Raymond Feist, and Trudi Canavan, among others. Mercedes Lackey was the author who first got me hooked on fantasy (thanks to my husband).

    There are so many I want to read that I have yet to try as well.

  4. Wendy - Oh, some new names to check on! Not familiar with Melanie Rawn, Raymond Feist, or Trudi Canavan. Off to check on these!