Book 1: FLESH & SPIRIT
n a land torn apart by civil war, pestilence, and shaky alliances, a man branded a traitor ends up in a place he never expected...Synopsis taken from the author's website at http://www.sff.net/people/carolberg/lighthouse.html on 29/03/2011.
The rebellious son of a long line of pureblood cartographers and diviners, Valen has spent most of his life trying to escape what society - and his family - have ordained for him. His own mother has predicted that he will meet his doom in water, blood, and ice. Her divination seems fulfilled when a comrade abandons Valen in a rainy wilderness half-dead, addicted to an enchantment that converts pain to pleasure, and possessing only a stolen book of maps.
Offered sanctuary in a nearby monastery, Valen discovers that his book - rumored to lead men into the realm of angels - gains him entry into a world of secret societies, doomsayers, monks, princes, and madmen, all seeking to unlock the mystery of a coming dark age. To his dismay, Valen must face what he fled so long ago, for the key to Navronne's doom is buried in half-forgotten myth and the secrets of his own past...
Book 2: BREATH & BONE
Osriel the Bastard wagged his finger, choking off my response as if a noose tightened about my neck. "But you, Magnus Valentia de Cartamandua-Celestine...what does Sila Diaglou want with you?"Synopsis taken from the author's website at http://www.sff.net/people/carolberg/lighthouse.html on 29/03/2011.
Not just the murderous Harrower priestess, but everyone in Navronne seems to be after Valen. There is the Bastard Prince himself, who steals dead men's eyes. And the Pureblood Registry, determined to keep every pureblood sorcerer in thrall. Even beings out of myth, the Danae guardians, whose dancing nurtures the earth and whose attention could prove the most costly of all.
As Navronne sinks deeper into civil war and perilous winter, Valen finds himself a bargaining chip in a deadly standoff. Doomed to madness by his addiction to the doulon, and bound by oaths he refuses to abandon, the young sorcerer risks body and soul to rescue one child, seek justice for another, and bring the ailing land its righteous king. Yet no one is who they seem, and Valen's search for healing grace leads him from Harrower dungeons to the very heart of the world. In the twilight of a legend, he at last discovers the hard truth of the coming dark age and the glorious, terrible price of the land's redemption...and his own.
I would rate these two books as one because honestly, they are just one book cut into half and published twice. The first book ended in a cliffhanger which shouldn't be read on it's own. I would highly recommend that you have both books before even starting to read to avoid a whole lot of frustration. Having said that, once you get to book two, it's fast-paced ride all the way to the end. I would rate the pace a 4 out of 5. The story telling quality is 5 out of 5. Simply masterpiece! The main protagonist is a dysfuntional male from a dysfuntional family yet managed to rise above it all and try to do the right thing even if it is against all odds. I would give the character development a 5 out of 5. The world building is fantastically painted in my mind that the world of the Lighthouse Duet came to life in vivid color! I would give it another 5 out of 5. Overall, I would say that this is a classic masterpiece which epic fantasy readers will enjoy again and again through the years, a 5 out of 5.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 poppies