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Reviews of 'Return of the Exile'

Return of the Exile

by Mary Herbert
The Linsha Trilogy, Volume 3

Reviews of 'Return of the Exile'

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Reviewer: Cassandra Jacobs

Rating: Stars

The fascinating conclusion of the Linsha trilogy.

Like the other two books in this series, I was again floored by the range of emotions I went through as I read this book: happiness, anger, sadness, fear. The author does a wonderful job in taking the reader along on a frightful trip, where you never really know what's going to happen... whether Linsha will escape, if her honor will remain intact, if Crucible will die, or if Linsha will ever be able to accept and be happy with him. Fortunately, the ending does turn out to be what the reader hopes for, although Mirage still stays in control of the tarmaks (it's suspected not for long though, as their war leader is now dead and the gods back in control of the world).

I'm very impressed with the way the author built up the personalities of the characters in this book. Every character, from the main ones to the secondary support characters to the villains, were in-depth, developed, and touched the reader in some way. On top of that, the personality of Varia, the talking owl, as well as the multiple dragons who are part of the storyline, is just phenomenal. I felt a deep connection and attachment to all of these characters and felt my heart break just a little bit each time something bad happened.

All too often, secondary and non-human characters are either not developed at all, or poorly developed within the story. This is either because the author doesn't know how to work in a personality for something non-human or they don't feel it's as important. Herbert fixes this by making sure the author knows that every single character is important to this story, even if they play a relatively minor role or can be difficult to identify with because of the species. This author deserves a lot of praise for her ability to manage this difficult piece of writing.

While this trilogy isn't really a part of a major storyline, it's well worth checking out. The writing is superb, the storytelling fantastic, and the characters enthralling. You will not be sorry for spending time with Linsha.

Review made December 6th, 2005.

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