Wizardborn by David Farland

Rating 8.0/10
A good book but the quality of the series and the writing are sadly slipping.

Wizard Born is the third book in David Farland’s Runelord’s fantasy series. This book follows on from the events in The Sum of All Men and Brotherhood of the Wolf.

The reavers have been temporarily defeated and are in retreat. Raj Ahten’s own forces are turning against him and Lord Anders is building a force to defeat King Gaborn. This is the setting at the beginning of Wizard Born.

"It was bitterly cold, and Raj Ahten clung to his warhammer. After the rout at Carris, reavers had fled blindly in every direction. Twice Raj Ahten had stumbled upon the monsters in the woods and brought them down.
Worse than reavers hunted in these woods. Gaborn had turned many of Raj Ahten's own Invincibles against him. A troop of them had ridden over the pass recently, leaving hoofprints in the fresh snow.
So Raj Ahten traveled over paths that horses could not follow, bypassing his armies in the mountains."
Wizardborn: Igniting Heaven

There are few new characters added but this is a good thing and gives the author the opportunity to flesh out the main characters. A character that plays a larger part in Wizardborn is Averan, and her ability to understand the reavers helps us to gain further insight into them and offers us greater understanding of these so called monsters.

"She had a sudden vision of the nesting site of the Soft Stone Clan where Keeper had hatched, down where the rocks were warm from magma. She recalled cutting her way out of a leathery sack at birth by using her egg tooth, only to be attacked by one of her older siblings while still weary from the ordeal.
Keeper had wrestled with her sister, ripping of a hind leg as she fled. It was a hollow victory, for Keeper would have been better nourished by his sister's corpse. Still, the leg provided him with his first real taste of flesh, and he fashioned the broken bone into a weapon, which he used to stab the next few hatchlings. He tore off the sweet mush glands beneath their forearms for nourishment and ate their brains, so that he quickly grew strong and wise.
Keeper's memories were macabre, fascinating, although sketchy. She remembered haunting fragments of incidents: reavers desperately placing huge stones to form a conduit so that magma rising around them would shoot up to heat an underground lake."
Wizardborn: A Wizard's Perspective

There were times during reading this book when I told myself that this would be the last book in the series that I would read. The main reasons for this train of though was the racial stereotyping and the feeling that the story was following a rather “paint by numbers” approach. Some chapters of the book can come across as contrived and merely a bridge between events.

However, having voiced these criticisms, Farland does write a page-turner and there a flashes of inspiration and chapters of excellence that make me once again read the story to the end and to discover the outcomes of the continually evolving characters.

I do have issues with this book, as I have already mentioned, there does seem to be evidence of racial stereotyping within that is reminiscent of David Eddings and Stephen King. It seems that American authors are guiltier of this practice than their Canadian or British counterparts. The following sentence did sit uneasily with me. "As he neared, even at a distance of twenty feet, the kaifba smelled strongly of garlic and olive oil."

Once again, Farland managed to create such a good second half to the book that I was left wanting to read the fourth book as soon as possible. According to rumour, the fourth book is a change from the 2nd and 3rd and regains the majesty of the first book, The Sum of All Men. This book did in times read like a movie script and was very battle heavy. Indeed, there were times when the narrative could have been describing a computer game. This is worth a read as it is enjoyable and moves the story along nicely to take us to the much anticipated fourth book.

Praise for David Farland and Wizardborn

“That rare book that will remind you why you started reading fantasy in the first place” Amazon.com

“Offers sweep, much bloodstained action and interesting characters” SFX

“Highly recommended” Starlog

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Have you read Wizardborn?

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Wizardborn reader reviews

from US

8-stars

Young king Gaborn Val Orden finds that he has lost his powers. As he struggles to rid his land of reavers,all of his hopes come to rest upon the nine-year-old girl, Averan, the Wizardborn apprentice to the earth wizard Binnesman. Despite her fears, he must convince her to lead him in battle against the reaver lord of the underworld. Like the previous 2 books in the Runelords series Wizardborn is written fluently and is very easy to read. Wolverton is excellent at creating strong visual imagery within the readers mind and this is really great fantasy fiction. There is quite a bit of gore involved in the narrative and although I think the book is suitable for young adults I would advise caution. The only downside to this book, and the series as a whole, is that at times it feels that the story is being a little drawn out, and possibly would have benefited from being contained to 3, perhaps 6, books in total. Still, I enjoyed it a lot though :)

8/10 from 2 reviews

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