The Stormlord Series by Glenda Larke
Books in this series:
The Last Stormlord
Shale is the lowest of the low-an outcast from a poor village in the heart of the desert. In the desert water is life, and currency, and Shale has none. But he has a secret. It’s the one thing that keeps him alive and may save all the cities of the Quartern in the days to come. If it doesn’t get him killed first…
Terelle is a slave fleeing a life as a courtesan. She finds shelter in the home of an elderly painter but as she learns the strange and powerful secrets of his art she fears she may have traded a life of servitude for something far more perilous…
The Stormlord is dying in his tower and there is no one, by accident or design, to take his place. He brings the rain from the distant seas to his people. Without a Stormlord, the cities of the Quartern will wither and die.
Their civilization is at the brink of disaster. If Shale and Terelle can find a way to save themselves, they may just save them all. Water is life and the wells are running dry…
The last Stormlord is dead. War has come to the cities of the Quartern. The violent, nomadic Redunners have put every rainlord they could find to the sword and the cities are left without hope.
Shale has been betrayed, drugged, and left at the feet of his greatest enemy. Now, he must decide to work with those who have plotted against him or let thousands of the waterless die. He has great power but is no Stormlord. At least, not yet…
Terelle has escaped the Scarpen in search of her homeland and her people, the mysterious Watergivers. But a desperate message will send her back to find Shale and face her worst fears.
The people of the Scarpen are in danger. Shale and Terelle must find a way to save their people and punish those who have destroyed all they ever loved.
SHALE is finally free from his greatest enemy. But now, he is responsible for bringing life-giving rain to all the people of the Quartern. He must stretch his powers to the limit or his people will die-if they don’t meet a nomad’s blade first. And while Shale’s own highlords and waterpriests plot against him, his Reduner brother plots his revenge.
TERELLE is Shale’s secret weapon, covertly boosting his powers with her own mystical abilities. But she is compelled by the strange magic of her people and will one day have to leave Shale’s side. No one knows what waits for her across the desert, but her people gave the Quartern its first Stormlord and they may save Shale and his people once again-or lead them to their doom.
This is the final volume of the epic Stormlord series.
David’s Thoughts About This Series:
A few months ago, I read a blog post about how very few fantasy writers portray the impact magic would have on the economic, social, and political elements of their world. The blog was geared more towards players of Dungeons & Dragons and other RPGs, but this post was more about fantasy novels. The main point was that while many books have magic in them to some degree, few show the wide reaching effects magic would really have in a more real-world setting. The primary examples used were; priests and clerics for healing, and mages or druids for agriculture. Most fantasy novels tend to be written in a pseudo-Victorian Renaissance era, which in the real world was rife with plagues and starvation, poor health and short life spans. While we still suffer from these conditions today, our technology has improved our quality of living far beyond those historical times (for the countries who can afford it, anyway). So if the priests and clerics from those fantasy novels could heal the sick, why was everyone always so bad off? If the mages and druids could cause plants to grow or rain to fall, who would starve? Most sci-fi books usually involve whatever new, advanced technology the author has thought up, and how it changes the way people live. So why don’t fantasy novels do the same with magic?
Of course, this provoked a slew of comments from people pointing that such and such book or author isn’t like that. And it got me to thinking about which books I’ve read have magic that has more of an impact than whatever evil wizard/necromancer is trying to take over the world. One of the first books that came to mind was the Stormlord series by Glenda Larke. The Quartern is basically a desert. In order to live there, the people need water in sufficient quantities. This makes those mages who can manipulate water a powerful part of the culture. The Stormlords are powerful enough to control the weather and bring up water from the distant sea and create clouds, then sending rain to various parts of the country. The entire population relies on these mages, so when they start to die out, trouble starts. And then Shale is found. Powerful enough to be a Stormlord, he is untrained and from a poor background. He could be salvation for the entire nation, but for a few problems.
I thoroughly enjoyed these books. The storyline was interesting and had enough twists to not be predictable. The background history had depth and the culture was intricate and structured. Each of the characters had their own place in the world and their own agendas. If you’re looking to read something a bit different from the normal swords-and-sorcery type, I would recommend giving these a try.