Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE MARGRAVE by Catherine Fisher


From the Relic Master series, volume 4

by Catherine Fisher

Age Range: 11 - 16

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3676-4
Publisher: Dial

The conclusion to Fisher’s science-fantasy quartet satisfies, despite failing to answer a number of nagging questions.

Embittered by the events of the search for the Coronet, Relic Master Galen drives his companions mercilessly to destroy the Margrave, the shadowy abomination behind the Watch. His scholar Raffi bears the brunt of Galen’s obsession, and—tortured by visions of the Margrave’s beckoning—breaks in both mind and spirit, falling into the clutches of the Watch. As Galen, Carys, the Sekoi and all their allies launch a hopeless attack upon the Watch stronghold, Raffi confronts the last twisted Relic of the Makers and must decide who needs rescuing most. Despite important roles for the other characters, this is very much Raffi’s story, as his failures and fears are outweighed by the open-hearted compassion that allows him to accomplish for the world Anara what learning, cleverness and strength have not. In a surprising inversion of the standard tropes, the climactic deus ex machina (or perhaps more properly, deus machina est) leaves open most of the mysteries of the world and the Makers, while providing emotional closure to each character’s narrative arc.

Readers who came for the adventure will be left pondering the fragile alliance between mercy, justice, duty and responsibility. (Science fiction. 11-16)