Bewildering Stories

Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, To Light A Candle

reviewed by Jerry Wright

To Light A Candle
Author: Mercedes Lackey
and James Mallory
Publisher: Tor
Hardcover: 656 pages
ISBN: 0765302209
Price: $27.95

Our newest reviewer, Danielle Parker, reviewed Book One of "The Obsidian Trilogy" The Outstretched Shadow, several weeks ago. She forgot to mention that TOS was recommended by VOYA as Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror book for 2003. She was absolutely correct in her catagorization of "the BAD guys" (e.g. The Demon Queen and her "family") as a compilation of all that is evil and horrid in the universe, and the "High Magic" practicing Mages of The Golden City of Armethalieh are still somewhat one dimensional except for the High Mage Lycaelon, who slowly becomes co-opted by a turncoat working for the Really Bad Guys.

This book moves a lot faster than the first, and we see the growth of Kellan, now a Knight Mage, as well as the romance between Kellan's sister Idalia and the Elf Jermayean, and the discovery of the Last Dragon and what THAT portends.

There are epic, and horrifying battles as the "Endarkened" begin their moves against the forces of Light, but this war seems to be much different than the last war between Darkness and Light. The Forces of Darkness are now trying stealth and treachery instead of out and out violence.

There are some things that make me scratch my head. Kellen, the Knight Mage, magically just gets better and more powerful in an unrealistic fashion. In a number of ways, this book reminded me of Raymond Feist's Magician:Master with the growth of Ashen Shugar. But it isn't a copy. As to the writing, I get the feeling that the primary work was done by Mallory, with Lackey cleaning it up and adding the professional touches. The book has a much different feel than the Valdemar books, or her Joust trilogy.

Still, unlike most middle books, this one is NOT a letdown. Many questions are answered, and new questions are asked. It actually could be read by itself, however, that is NOT recommended.

Return to top

Home Page