Law of the Broken Earth (The Griffin Mage: Book Three)

Law of the Broken Earth (The Griffin Mage: Book Three)
Rachel Neumeier, 2010

Premise: Sequel to Lord of the Changing Winds, Land of the Burning Sands. Mienthe came to live with her cousin Bertaud after her parents died. She's a little shy and unsure of herself, but she finds herself drawn to the mysterious spy, Tan, who returns to Feierabiand with more than he intended. Agents from the neighboring kingdom are coming in search of Tan, but Bertaud has gone north to try to head off a looming war between humans and griffins. On Mienthe's actions may soon hang the fate of three nations and two species.

This was a solid ending for an enjoyable series. I didn't fall as hard for the new characters in this volume, but I really enjoyed the storyline. This book also did a nice job bringing back all the characters from all three books by the end. (Kes is back! And awesome-scary now!)

I also give this book major kudos for redeeming the only part I didn't like in the first book, simply by showing that things didn't turn out the way the first book implied.

The climax of the plot is a little bit hokey, but I liked it. The whole plot of this one hinged on characters' instincts, both mystical and otherwise, as they tried to see a peaceful way forward. So the ending was simple: instinctual in a way. By the end, there is a real sense of closure to the whole trilogy.

I liked the way Mienthe's instincts were described throughout, including her own self-doubt and later shyness about her own abilities.

There were more viewpoint characters in this volume, although I think the complexity of events required it. I thought the construction was actually pretty neat: there were the two new main characters for this one, plus one important character from each of the previous books, neither of whom had been viewpoint characters before.

And Kairaithin, the Griffin Mage himself, never got to be a viewpoint character, so he stays a bit of a mystery. He does still get a good deal of character development, and some closure to his arc. In some ways, he's the main character behind the main characters, the one who can most affect the plot, and he is wonderful here.

This trilogy isn't mind-blowingly brilliant, but it's solid fantasy that leaves me feeling really satisfied.

4 Stars – A Very Good Book


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