Author: Andrew Q Gordon
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Champion of the Gods: Book Two
After defeating Meglar at Belsport, Farrell returns to Haven to recover from his injuries, but Khron, the god of war, has other ideas. He gives Farrell a new mission: free the survivors of the ancient dwarf realm of Trellham from their three-thousand-year banishment. To fulfill Khron’s near impossible task, Farrell will need the help of his distance ancestor, the legendary wizard Kel. But Kel has been dead for a thousand years.
Farrell finds information hinting that Kel is alive, so he moves his search to Dumbarten, Kel’s birthplace. To reach Dumbarten unannounced, Farrell and Miceral disguise themselves as mercenaries on board a merchant vessel. Their journey is disrupted when pirates attack their ship. While attempting to subdue the attack, Farrell is struck down by one of Meglar’s minions.
Unconscious and trapped in his own mind, Farrell’s only chance for survival rests with Miceral and the peregrine king Rothdin entering his thoughts and helping him sort fact from illusion. To reach Farrell, they will need to rely on an untested spell from one of Kel’s spellbooks. If they succeed, Miceral can guide Farrell home safely. If not, Farrell will destroy not only himself, but Miceral, Rothdin, and everyone around him.
Andrew Q Gordon redoubled his efforts when writing The Eye and the Arm. If you are a fan of Gordon’s The Last Grand Master (A Prism Recommended Read), I probably don’t need to tell you that The Eye and the Arm is a must read. If you haven’t yet read The Last Grand Master, I highly suggest you do so.
Gordon creates and intricate and intriguing world with layers that will have you coming back for more time and again. Eye is the second book in a planned pentalogy, Champion of the Gods, all centering around one wizard’s efforts to save the world from a power-hungry wizard and follower of the God of the Underworld.
In the first installment, The Last Grand Master, we met the cast of characters and saw just how powerful Farrell is. Gordon laid the foundation for his world. He gave us the characters, the gods, the geography, the magic, and the evil. He made us love his characters.
In The Eye and the Arm, he throws a wrench into the works, but he also continues to build his characters and his world. He moves the story forward while giving us some necessary and timely backstory. Sometimes these flashback/backstory moments can border on exposition, but I always found myself turning the pages for more and grateful for the information. There are also a few moments of levity in the seriousness. Just enough to keep the reader from getting mired in the serious that is Farrell’s situation, but not enough to detract from the story Gordon is showing the reader.
Eye contains all the bits we loved from Last Grand Master –the magic, the unicorns, the love, the mythos, and the journey–but it adds a little pirate action, a jealous lesbian Princess, and some clerics whose world-views are in for a major shift. And Magic… did I mention some pretty awesome magic is involved?
One of my favorite parts in Eye was a brief look into the world from Miceral’s perspective. For those who have not read book one, Miceral is Farrell’s life partner and a very different voice from Farrell himself (now go read The Last Grand Master, will you?). I appreciated seeing him rattled. I appreciated seeing the love he has for Farrell, love of which Farrell is sometimes unsure. I understand we may get another glimpse into his mind in a future installment.
Like any well-written high fantasy novel, there is a long list of people, places, and things that are unique to the world. To help you keep it all straight, there is fairly comprehensive index of those things at the end. While there weren’t many situations where I was thrown off my the appearance of characters from the past, there were times when a character would show back up that I didn’t take note of earlier. I found the index a helpful way to remind myself in these instances. There is also a much appreciated (at least by this reviewer) preview into book 3 included at the end.
If you haven’t read The Last Grand Master, DO IT! That way you will be ready for The Eye and the Arm. I don’t know what else to say about this world. I love worlds that grab me and don’t let me go. I love worlds that I know I will be able to revisit again and find new and different things. This is not a one and done book, this is a book for my favorites shelf.
Mr. Gordon, I need book three, please.
I would like to thank the author for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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