What began in Flank Hawk and Blood Sword continues on in Soul Forge: A First Civilization’s Legacy Novel. Not everything in the trilogy is tied off and complete, but a lot of things are by the end of this book.
This is a fantasy series set far in the future where the first civilization (anyone reading this now) has long since collapsed. What is left of humans is scattered far and wide across the globe. Battles rage between various tribes and kingdoms while magic is once again possible along with dragons, souled zombies, trolls, and more.
Supreme Enchantress Thulease needs the help of mercenary Flank Hawk. In the aftermath of the events in Blood Sword, her daughter, the young Thereese, lies in what might be best described as a coma. She is very slowly dying despite Enchantress Thulease and others efforts, magical and otherwise, to keep her alive. Enchantress Thulease Flank Hawk to join her and several others on a quest for a cure.
Imperial Seer Lochelle has suggested that Enchantress Thulease seek out the entity known as the “Sleeping Sage.” To do so they will have to get to the Southern Continent and deal with all matter of man and creature. Assuming they survive and get there safely they then have to somehow convince the Sleeping Sage to give them the information they seek. What was already going to be a very difficult quest is beset by treachery within the group almost from the start as a young woman’s life hang in the balance.
This third book in the series contains all the hallmarks of the earlier books in the series. Hints of a past (our world) that went so wrong in a future that is filled with magic, desperate people, and mutant creatures of various proportions are once again on full display. As fitting as the third novel of a trilogy, Soul Forge: A First Civilization’s Legacy Novel is also a remembrance of things past in terms of the earlier novels in the series and the score of companions lost in previous campaigns.
The result is a complex book that looks forward throughout while at the same time often looks back at preceding events. In the hands of a lesser author such a split read would turn into a maddening and depressing navel gazing read. In this case the technique works very well and adds additional complexity to an already compelling tale.
The ending of Soul Forge: A First Civilization’s Legacy Novel provides a small possibility for the series to continue though the author is at work on his Crax War Chronicles (both books are in my print tbr pile). One hopes that maybe we will again be invited to journey along with mercenary Flank Hawk, his close friend Lily, and others on yet another quest where one can fly with dragons.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2016