Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bringer of Storms

Bringer of Storms, the second installment of L.B. Graham's epic series, The Binding of the Blade delivers an action-based, fast-paced plot, along with characters you will not quickly forget.

Our story picks up 17 years after Joraiem Andira's shocking betrayal and murder. Joraiem, one of the young royalty (Novanna) of the world of Kirthanin, was the first prophet of Allfather to be identified in hundreds of years. He was also an expert archer, a brave warrior, and a faithful friend. He and the other Novanna fought many battles to keep Kirthanin free from the influence of the evil Malek and his followers, but his marriage to the beautiful Wylla made him the victim of a jealous rage. Rulalin's murder of Joraiem sparked an endless war, spearheaded by Joraiem's friend, Aljeron.

Bringer of Storms picks up the story in the middle of Aljeron's quest to win the war and find Rulalin. Aljeron's friends worry the war is consuming him, while Aljeron worries Rulalin may never meet the justice he deserves. Malek is on the move, hoping to conquer Kithanin once and for all. Rulalin, meanwhile, has pledged himself to serve Malek, in return for the chance to see Wylla once again. The only hope for Kirthanin lies in Benjiah Andira, the son Joaraiem never knew he had. Benjiah has also been gifted as a prophet, though he is not aware of it. Much to his mother's dismay, his father's mentor, Valzaan, arrives at the palace to tell Benjiah of his destiny and bring him into the fiercest battles.

In the novel, we experience Benjiah's confusion about his father, the intensifying war, and his destiny. We also experience Rulalin's confusion about his past and future decisions. Many times, Rulalin is on the edge of making the right choice, but every time he sacrifices what he knows is right for the chance to win Wylla once again.

What I Like: Bringer of Storms would be a great novel to explore with older teens who could learn a lot about choices and consequences while enjoying an action-packed (but not too scary) fantasy.

Graham writes realistic, interesting and complicated characters, who are all a mix of good and bad. He avoids stereotypes, and doesn't shy away from dealing with complex emotions. Although Aljeron is a hero and serves Allfather, he is not perfect. He makes human mistakes readers can relate to. Rulalin, on the other side of the coin, is not all bad, despite his choice to serve Allfather's eternal enemy, Malek. We can see good in Rulalin, in a way reminiscent of Anniken Skywalker.

I also like the authentic fantasy setting Graham sets up for us. I can see Aljeron, with his tiger Koshti, roaming the streets of Fel Edorath searching for Rulalin. I can also see Malek's Black Wolves and Malekim marching on the cities of Kirthanin, while the "Bringer of Storms" hurls lightning and commands the winds and rain.

What I Dislike: Again, the book has a cliff-hanger ending. You will have to read all five if you need a satisfying ending!

There are a couple of typos and awkward sentences, but the action and characters are so compelling, I didn't notice after the first couple of chapters.

I also wasn't wild about the cover. The "Bringer of Storms" is a bit frightening, with eerie glowing eyes and fangs. This isn't a big deal (and will add to the appeal for teen boys I am sure) except I had to keep hiding the book from my six-year-old!

Overall Rating: Very Good

Age Appeal: Young Adult (14-21)

Publisher Info:P&R Publishing, 2005; ISBN: 978-0875-527-215; Paperback, $16.99

Buy it Now at for $13.99

OR Buy it at for $11.55.

Special Info: See our review of the first book Beyond the Summerland here.

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