Review: Stormed Fortress, Janny Wurts

Rating: 5 out of 5

I couldn’t put this down! Ms Wurts is excellent in her stand-alone’s, but the Wars of Light and Shadow are building up to an absolutely crazy experience. Not only are all the characters suddenly more approachable—including Lysaer which should surprise everyone—but the problems that have been facing our brave crowd of heroes (and antiheroes) suddenly seem solvable. We don’t actually get there, but perhaps there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

The crux of the activities focusses around the siege of Alestron. The Duke of Alestron is a mighty jackass, and this drags the event on into a very complex storm of events. Characters’ motives for achieving their goals get entangled, with no help from the Koriathain who try to ruin and destroy everything that has been built thus far. Yet, the younger characters seem to grow within this story to become more than they were before: Arithon’s double and Jeynsa are the best examples of this.

I was also very pleased about the good coverage Elaira got. Her and Arithon’s story is so compelling that one is swept along. The books thus far have either avoided Elaira, in the majority, or given her very little traction, while finally it is looking like she is one of the main characters—which the Fellowship sorcerers confirmed a long time ago. She steps into this role with great gusto and it was joyful to see older vassals and friends of Arithon, like Sidir, to come to realise her genuine nature.

Throughout, this was really enjoyable, and I’m planning to continue with the series once my customary “one-not-from-the-series” is finished. I’m thrilled to see that the author manages something new with every episode while keeping the characters in their believable roles.

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