Book Title: Last of the Wilds
Author: Trudi Canavan
Published by: Orbit, 2006
The second book in the Power of Five continues where the first book left off. The Circlians were at war with the Pentadrians, which resulted in a victory for the White, thanks to Auraya. After reading the early chapters, it became clear that Last of The Wilds would be full of political intrigue, romance and more magic. Trudi Canavan has used a more cultural approach to fantasy in the Power of Five trilogy. The way people live, including local customs, are described in detail. Building up different cultures within a fantasy world helps the reader become more immersed into the world. I started to care about the characters in the same way one empathises with real people.
I enjoyed the episodic nature of the book more than I did in Priestess of the White. The variety of different viewpoints creates a story with more depth. The plot of the book is skillfully crafted into a story more refined than a simple sword and sorcery story, although I do like action in fantasy as well. Competing religious beliefs are a reality in our world, so it is interesting to see how it plays out in a fantasy world. The political element of the story helped to create a more intelligent plot.
Last of the Wilds also focuses on new characters, including characters who featured little in the first book. More information about the Pentadrians through the point of view of Reivan, who is training to become a servant of the Pentadrian gods, is given. The addition of Reivan’s story makes it harder to determine if there are any truly evil characters in this series. Trudi Canavan has shown once again why she is a bestselling fantasy author.
Forbidden romance is also significant in Last of the Wilds. I will not give away any details because I do not want to reveal the complete plot of the novel. I prefer to be surprised by a second book in a trilogy. Book one lays down the foundations and book two is when the story is developed further. Two religions went to war in the first book, whereas in the second book the Circlians and Pentadrians are trying to fight for the beliefs of ordinary people. Both religious bodies are obsessed with controlling the population. Truth becomes a political battleground, just like it has in reality.
Trudi Canavan’s writing flows well; allowing for a good story to be told. The world building is excellent, expanding on the information given in book one. The Dreamweavers and the Wilds are both explored in more detail. The Wilds are immortal sorcerers, who refuse to serve any god. The social structure of society is more important than the magic system in the Power of Five trilogy. Gods and religion dominate the plot of the series, which differs from the approach of other fantasy authors, such as Brandon Sanderson and Garth Nix, who focus a lot on developing their unique magic systems.
Last of the Wilds was an awesome read, that held my interest. The character building was excellent. All in all, this book was a brilliant sequel to The Priestess of the White.
Rating: 5/5 stars