An island nation has vanished. Men of honor and magic have died unnatural deaths. Slaves flee in terror. . . . Are the silent gods beginning to speak? Or is another force at work in the Lands Vin?Title: The Shattered Vine (Vineart War #3)
Laura Anne Gilman’s critically acclaimed, Nebula Award–nominated Flesh and Fire introduced a brilliantly imagined world where the grapevine—cultivated by the Vinearts who know the secrets of wine magic—holds together disparate lands. Now, confusion, violence, and terror are sweeping over the Lands Vin. And four people are at the center of a storm.
Jerzy, Vineart apprentice and former slave, was sent by his master to investigate strange happenings—and found himself the target of betrayal. Now he must set out on his own journey, to find the source of the foul taint that threatens to destroy everything he holds dear. By Jerzy’s side are Ao, who lives for commerce and the art of the deal; Mahault, stoic and wise, risking death in flight from her homeland; and Kaïnam, once Named-Heir of an island principality, whose father has fallen into a magic-tangled madness that endangers them all.
These four companions will travel far from the earth and the soul of the vine, sailing along coastlines aflame with fear, confronting sea creatures summoned by darkness, and following winds imbued with malice. Their journey will take them to the very limits of the Sin Washer’s reach . . . and into a battle for the soul of the Lands Vin. For two millennia the Sin Washer’s Commandment has kept these lands in order: Those of magic shall hold no power over men and those princes of power shall hold no magic. Now, that law has given way. And a hidden force seeks the havoc of revenge.
Author: Laura Anne Gilman
Hardcover: 343 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books, 2011
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository
Source: Pocket Books
Jerzy heads home in this final installment of Laura Anne Gilman's Vineart War trilogy. He's left his vines, traveled far and wide, seen creatures real and fantastical, and avoided the Washers. He's more aware now of the power a vineart mage can wield, yet realizes that with power comes responsibility. Oh how I wish that were true of our politicians! Ok, sorry, I got distracted. Won't happen again...
The first part of The Shattered Vine covers Jerzy's return (with his friends) and getting settled back in. Things have changed while Jerzy was away. Lords are making pacts with their Vinearts, and the Washers are understandably nervous. Though Jerzy has no love for the Collegium at all, he realizes that their role is a necessary one--even if they go overboard with that responsibility. Because the alternative is far worse than some overzealous Washers, as he well knows.
I liked the scenes with Ao in them, his sense of humor is infectious. And wish there was a bit more of Mahault and what shape her future takes. As for Kainam, he's still a Prince--there'll always be a place for him in the world.
The second part of The Shattered Vine reveals the anti-climactic conclusion to this series. It was honestly a tad underwhelming, especially after all the build-up of evil and taint so far. But still, this is a very satisfying conclusion to a very imaginative world from Gilman.
drey's rating: Excellent!
Have you read The Shattered Vine? What did you think?
It's release week for The Shattered Vine, and in celebration, the publisher has one copy of the book for you! This one's US-only (no PO Boxes, please). Enter by filling out the form before November 3rd. Good luck!