I rarely read fantasy because I find much of it to be dull. And I almost NEVER would touch a fantasy trilogy. However, when my book group read “The Aware”, the first in the “Isles of Glory” trilogy by Glenda Larke, I was immediately drawn into her world of citizens and citizenless (and therefore outcast) halfbreeds and the sweeping changes taking place in a long-standing sea-faring culture. These books have some of the best world-building and character development I’ve seen, and there is no “middle book” syndrome associated with “Gilfeather” — important things happen, the stakes are raised, and certain aspects of the larger storyline achieve some closure. I would also note that the use of letters from a researcher back to his uncle are an excellent framing device, adding humor of all things to this story. And I agree with another reviewer here who praises Larke’s use of a different focus character for this book. Yet we still have the beloved characters from the first book, so we get the best of both worlds. I recommend the first two books (“The Aware” and “Gilfeather”) without reservation. I’m very much looking forward to the third bok (“The Tainted”) in June of this year. (Another advantage — this trilogy was already published in Australia, so we don’t have to wait years between books here in the States!)

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