Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thorn of Breland Trilogy by Keith Baker

I like books with strong female protagonists. I enjoy those books even more when the protagonist has warrior skills, espionage training, and a talking dagger for a companion.  This series takes the reader through a mix of practical, mystical, and political alliances as Nyrielle Tam, aka Thorn, navigates her assignments within the world of Eberron. 

With only a fleeting frame of reference for the world of Dungeons and Dragons, I was afraid I’d be lost as I read this series.  My assumption was that books set within this world are elusive and elite; carefully guarded by those versed in the genre of science fiction.

This proved completely false.

The books in this series are structured like any other: they lead you to a world where, once immersed, things start to make sense. Imagination takes hold, and it doesn’t matter if the characters are dragons or elves; what matters is the motivations behind the choices they make, and where those actions will lead them. The creativity in these worlds compliments the complexity of the ideas presented within them, keeping readers engaged on multiple levels simultaneously.

Full confession?  I’m hooked.

Supporting my addiction is Baker’s focused writing, which maintains a taut pace throughout the series. Descriptions appear only when they precede action; character analysis appears only as unlikely alliances are defined.  If it’s not necessary, it’s not in here, making these books a delight to read. Even the romance is perfectly punctuated with elusive efficiency.

As I finished the third novel, I was disappointed that the story was ending. How soon can Keith Baker supply me with another installment?

What do I do in the meantime?

Apparently, the answer to that question is to join a game of Dungeons and Dragons…

-Tina Panik

Stop by the library and check them out.

The Queen of Stone,        Son of Khyber,               The Fading Dream

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