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THE WAY OF LIGHT by Storm Constantine


by Storm Constantine

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-312-87328-X
Publisher: Tor

Solid end to Constantine’s Chronicles of the Magravandian Empire. The British author’s many iconic publicity photos on the Web show a leaning toward dreamladen Pre-Raphaelite costumery for her writing. In Sea Dragon Heir (2000), she told of the fall of Caradore, realm of the sea-dragon Foy, and the rise of the fire god Magradore. Centuries later, the ruling Palindrakes of Caradore, led by Valraven and his incestuous twin sister Pharinet, serve Leonid II. Pharinet, however, joins the Sisterhood of the Dragon and raises Foy from the ocean depths. The Crown of Silence (2001), the breadbasket of the trilogy, always a difficult area in which to maintain suspense before the wrap-up, brought onstage 14-year-old Shan, whose village is destroyed and he left beaten and a victim of homosexual rape. Shan is adopted by the ancient magus Taropat, also known as Khaster Leckery, the vengeful half-human brother-in-law of Valraven Palindrake. Taropat teaches Shan both magic and worldly cunning and shapes him for recovery of the Crown of Silence and then the overthrow the hated Magravand king. Now, in The Way of Light, the tormented Valraven grows ever more deeply complex, as do all characters, who seem to think and weigh matters on their own, below the flow of Constantine’s rich dialogue. Recovery of the Crown of Silence remains the goal, with many on the quest, including Shan, and Khaster’s brother Merlan, and Almorante, the mystically educated son of Tatrini of the Malagashes. Says Tatrini about this holy artifact recovered from Lake Pancanara: “[It] has remained inaccessible for centuries, [and,] recovered from the most mystical site in our country at this time of flux, will possess magical properties . . . We must have it . . . Our family is emperor. Our blood is empire.” Even Valraven and Pharinet hope to save Caradore with the Crown, and it’s the Dragon Daughters who at last fill Valraven with the brilliant green radiance of Foy.