The Shining Ones by David Eddings

Rating 8.7/10
A definite improvement on the first novel.

Review by Angela

This is the 2nd book in 'The Tamuli' trilogy. It is quite necessary to read the first one, because the story carries on immediately from where 'Domes of Fire' finished. There is a prologue that explains what happened in the first novel. It is in the form of a scholarly report that does not think much of the Elenes intervention in Tamuli, and therefore, gives a different reading of events and cannot be relied on as an accurate retelling of the first novel. This alone shows Eddings craft as a writer, that he can turn his world upside down very easily.

This novel sees Sparhawk and friends have to find Bhelliom, the stone that they got rid of at the end of 'The Elenium'. Meanwhile, Queen Ehlana, spends her time playing politics and trying to start a revolution in Tamuli that would give the Emperor back his power. A new race 'The Shining Ones' appear (hence the title), but are they like their legend?

After 4 books the reader thinks that they know the regular characters very well, so it comes as a surprise to find out that one of them is irrationally prejudiced. This brings people to the forefront of a story that could have easily become just about skirmishes and battle tactics. There are a lot of unforeseen twists and turns in this novel, these keep the reader guessing. It becomes a completely different type of story than initially expected from reading the first instalment.

This is a definite improvement on the first novel in the series. It is not predictable, and individuals' characteristics drive the story along. David Eddings again finishes on a cliff hanger, so please have the next book handy.

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