Off the Shelf

“Bridge of Souls”

By Marcus Pan

Bridge of SoulsFiona McIntosh closes her Quickening trilogy with unexpected surprises. As Fynch goes off on a road alone to see to his new path and destiny as the new Manwitch from the Wild, Wyl thumps along now in the body of his own sister. After King Cailec of the Razor Kingdom’s attempt at a parley with Morgravia’s ruthless King Celimus, his return to the mountains with Wyl in the body of Ylena proves to provide a much needed asset.

Queen Valentyna still rides the surging wave of fate for her people of Briavel as she is pushed headlong into a marriage of state with the young and nasty Celimus even as he continues to cause more deaths among the naysayers of his kingdom. Leaders of noble families start disappearing as whispering rumors of his activities are bursting like wildfires through the legions of his own army. But all eyes are on the wedding as Valentyna arrives at Stoneheart for the ceremony she so greatly wishes to miss.

I had thought originally the final solution to bodyless Wyl Thirsk’s problems was in the form of being killed by, and therefore forcefully owning, the body of King Celimus himself. That would satisfy the magical “gift” (curse), placate Valentyna in the fact that she is now married to one she truly loves and ease the warmongering that the three countries have been stepping towards for numerous years through the form of a worthwhile sovereign. But that was not to be, although in a roundabout way the prophecy of Wyl becoming the sovereign of Morgravia, as was Myrren’s final magical wish, was fulfilled in an unlikely way bringing not only Morgravia and Biavel together, but the Razor Kingdom as well in times of peace and prosperity.

The travels of young Fynch were interesting indeed and became a wonderful subplot to the already moving storyline. His climactic battle with Rashlyn, King Cailec’s dark spirited magic man (“barshi”) and brother of Elysius the Manwitch who Wyl has searched for through two thirds of this series, was brilliantly done. His sacrifice for the good of the three kingdom’s alone allows the peace that all three nations have been striving for without realizing that it is not only mankind on which peace is hinged.

Well done. I enjoyed the series, and I think anyone interested in fantasy epics would. It’s not as predictable as I first thought, surprising me along the way. The side plots that are introduced as we move along add to the already large storyline and retains your interest well. A nice ending as well, though I must admit Celimus’ demise was a bit anti-climactic, however fitting it was.

"Bridge of Souls" by Fiona McIntosh
Copyright © 2004 by Fiona McIntosh
ISBN: 0-06-074760-9

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