Flights of Fantasy

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Outstretched Shadow – Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

The Outstretched Shadow - Mercedes Lackey and James MalloryCategory: Fantasy

The Golden City of Armethalieh, City of Bells, jewel of the land, place of plenty, where Mages rule and the people want for nothing.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it.

Kellen is an apprentice mage, destined to become one of the elite ruling class in a society where mages control everything, magic runs everything, and women are considered to be little better than animals for breeding more mages.

Kellen is a teenager, bored, dissatisfied, and uninspired by his studies: a very dangerous combination indeed.

It is clear from the start that there is something not quite right about the perfection of Armethalieh, and it becomes very clear over the first part of the story just what that something is. By the time the inevitable confrontation occurs, you are just as ready to escape as Kellen, which makes the wild ride that follows even more thrilling as you ride the pages alongside him.

The characters are wonderfully well written. The disillusioned teenager, the arrogant controlling power-hungry ruler, the older more experienced tutor, the intelligent companion and the frighteningly cold, calculating and thoroughly evil enemy. Oh yes, you didn’t think you’d get away without meeting the enemy, did you?

A truly excellent collaborative novel between one of my favourite authors and another who looks fair to join her on that list.

Rating: 9/10

The Obsidian Trilogy
1. The Outstretched Shadow
2. To Light a Candle (only in HB at the moment)
3. [unknown title]


  • I've read "The Outstretched Shadow" and "To Light a Candle", and I loved them both. I can't wait to get ahold of the third one...whatever it's going to be called. I denfinatly agree with your rating. I might even make it a 10, but that might be pushing it. I generally reserve that sort of rating for Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind like work.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:40 pm  

  • Last comment had me raising my eyebrows.. Aye, Terry Goodkind is a great story teller, but his writing isn't anywhere near as polished as the writing in the Obsidian Trilogy. Indeed, I found the first couple of books in his Wizard's First Rule series to be poorly edited and well, frankly, a tad juvenile. I still enjoyed the series because, like I said, Terry is a great story teller. And Jordan's Wheel of Time trilogy was indeed awesome, but by the 8th book or so, it's obvious he was dragging it out far longer than he should have.. The quality was just no longer there. I got the distinct impression in the end that he was just milking his fans for what he could, giving just the bare minimum in return.

    So I'm curious on what you would base giving Goodkind and Jordan a 10, but not Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory in the Obsidian Trilogy?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:26 pm  

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