Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Wall Of Spears Wall Of Spears
by Duncan Lay

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Deborah Knox

The third and final novel in author Duncan Lay’s Empire of Bones series begins exactly where the second book left off - with "elfaran" Sendatsu training and fighting alongside the Velsh army preparing the humans to go to war against the elves. Rhiannon is now an accomplished and powerful magic weaver, seeking further gifted humans to train and defend against the elven mages, while sorting out her feelings for the smitten Hew. In the elven city of Dokuzen the magic weavers are led and tricked by the increasingly evil Sumiko whose plans include threatening the life of pregnant Amasi.

The unbelievably fast time in which the Velsh are able to recruit and train an army of soldiers and magic weavers was a problem within this story. As far as I could tell the story did not skip forward at any point to account for this and the parallel storyline in Dokuzen in fact seemed if anything more drawn out – Amasi did not noticeably advance in her pregnancy, yet this was announced in the second book of the series.

The book’s better moments took place in the interactions between characters from the three nations - the differences in culture and the changing of viewpoints between humans who had always been considered as the less powerful race and elves (now called the elfaran) – who have recently discovered they are human too. The shift in this belief and the development of characters within the army made what was a very war centric plot much more readable.

Unfortunately, there were no surprises or interesting twists in this concluding volume. The characters got what they deserved (except for one who was disposed of to allow better loved characters their happy ending). For those who have read the first two volumes of the Empire of Bones; Wall of Spears will deliver exactly the ending you expect.

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