Master of the World

Master of the World Book Two of the Chelandra Trilogy, Rocanadron Press, copyright and written by Karina McRoberts.

This second book in the Chelandra series continues to follow the travels of Galla as she continues throughout her world on the only dirigible that has been built and, as explained in book one, has been given to her. Her world still is suffering from numerous devastating earthquakes and still encountering periods of plague-like disease that some finally are associating with their principle mining product ‘rockscar’ that contributes to the city/states’ wealth. She meets numerous new individuals and associates again with old acquaintances; is forced to spend time in a Muslim-like culture that appears in some ways to be even more like the old Caliph era where men’s’ and women’s quarters were separate entities with eunuchs providing security for these latter; problems of what was being done with immigrants; another war with the Qudasi again attacking Gaklari; attempting not to have anyone killed for any reason whatsoever until faced with the question when the act might be mandatory in order to save individuals important to her; suffers heartbreak and resulting despair; descends into loneliness and self-loathing and feels like a child with no one to whom she can turn until suddenly a figure appears to offer her help. The person is Vrenfru, the brilliant leader from book one who gradually deteriorated mentally until passing away. When questioned, he convinces her that although physically dead, he “just is” and will always answer her call if needed. Meanwhile, her companions Masandi and her uncle are conducting their own crusade with some not quite expected results that lead to the appearance of the first firearm with again resultant speculation about their use; and finally bittersweet termination of this volume to lead into the final book in the trilogy.

Discussion: The author has introduced an occult figure that furthers the fanciful thrust of this trilogy. No doubt this addition, as well as the rest of the story’s rambling content, will continue to have great appeal to those who enjoy pure fantasy. Galla is as headstrong as in the first volume and makes as many rash decisions, but now without the restraining influence by her uncle, so the described reactions result. Her acquaintances similarly continue in their expected paths and new villainous characters arise. The author, obviously most knowledgeable of world conditions as well as historical facts, introduces many controversial subjects that are most relevant to today’s situation throughout much of the world. She also demonstrates a thoughtful sensitivity by explaining the derivation of tunes included in the body of the work that provide sensations in accord with the music. Regrettably  therefore and with apologies to the author, this reviewer finds Galla’s continued activity as a ‘spoiled child’ in addition to the continued rambling character of the tale leading to introduction of the elements prevalent in today’s societal activity, detract from this otherwise completely fanciful tale. It also is strongly suggested that a prospective reader become acquainted with the contents of volume one before continuing with this trilogy.

3* 5* Well-written, fanciful tale; -2 for reasons provided.

Chelandra

Chelandra ISBN: 9780994596512 published by Recanadon Press, copyright with and created by Karina McRoberts.

This is Book one of the Chelandra Trilogy that opens in the area of Blya in a fantasy “world of two suns, fabulous ecologies and geologic chaos”. The reader finds young Prince Shirau Ajaner, accompanied by his 2nd in command/mentor and his small band or soldiers attempting to gain help for another war that is imminent. They are exhausted having travelled many leagues, often under attack, when they arrive at their destination. Regrettably, the inhabitants of this city/state are unfriendly because of actions in past relationships and treat them badly. During this time and the ensuing period the reader discovers that the city has become immensely wealthy from mining but are neglecting gathering the crops necessary to sustain them during the winter’s impossible times. The town’s inhabitants, the structure of government, the ruling figures and numerous others also are introduced. At this particular time, the city is experiencing a virtual take-over of governance by a brilliant man who unfortunately is experiencing a mental deterioration. Added to their problems is the fact that they are experiencing some type of strange illness that they are afraid might be some variation of a dreaded plague as well as the occurrence of some massive earthquakes. Numerous other characters are introduced with the story focused eventually on young Blyan teenager Galla Jenker, her well-travelled uncle Obronder and a strangely talented young dark-skinned Masande as they travel extensively. War does come with considerable damage to the young prince’s city/state bringing closure seemingly to this part of the trilogy while involving Galla, her uncle and Masande in a part of the unfortunate episode. The tale ends as these latter three prepare to journey on to the next episode.

Discussion: The author, who this reviewer understands participates in quite varied activities, has provided readers with a story of interesting and empathetic characters as they appear to ramble almost leisurely, but dangerously, through a land of pure fantasy where even the well-described and often referred to, seasons have unusual names – Rahber (winter), Remi (spring), Vahlande (summer), VaRemi (autumn). This is a tale replete with interesting characters, and even an animal and bird of fantasy that aficionados of the genre will find difficult to put down.

5* Fantasy aficionados should love this book.