Title: The Last Stormlord
Author: Glenda Larke
Series: Stormlord #1
Rating: 5/5 stars!
The Overview: Shale is the lowest of the low-an outcast from a poor village in the heart of the desert. In the desert water is life, and currency, and Shale has none. But he has a secret. It’s the one thing that keeps him alive and may save all the cities of the Quartern in the days to come. If it doesn’t get him killed first…
Terelle is a slave fleeing a life as a courtesan. She finds shelter in the home of an elderly painter but as she learns the strange and powerful secrets of his art she fears she may have traded a life of servitude for something far more perilous…
The Stormlord is dying in his tower and there is no one, by accident or design, to take his place. He brings the rain from the distant seas to his people. Without a Stormlord, the cities of the Quartern will wither and die.
Their civilization is at the brink of disaster. If Shale and Terelle can find a way to save themselves, they may just save them all. Water is life and the wells are running dry..
I’ve read everything Glenda Larke has published (even the stuff I had to get overseas), and I love her. This particular series is probably the best so far. Her strength has always been world-building, and in the “Stormlord” books, she really takes it to the next level. Between the vivid landscape, unique creatures, and the cultures of the people, she really succeeds in bringing the story to life!
I also thought the plot was excellent: The people who live in the desert cities of Quartern are completely dependent on the stormlords to fill their wells with precious water. The trouble comes when the last stormlord powerful enough to bring rain falls ill. As if the story and cool magic system wasn’t good enough, there is also a character who’s heritage allows her to turn her paintings into reality. I found the whole thing enthralling – it was definitely an “up ‘til 3 a.m. to finish it” novel. What’s more, the story bounces around between different characters, and while sometimes that can bore a reader, I thought each character was well-developed and interesting, with every perspective enriching the overall plot. There wasn’t a single character that I wasn’t eager to read more about.
Overall, I think Larke is a seriously under-appreciated author, between the excellent, unique world, the interesting magic systems, a great plot, and amazing characters, her stories easily rival some of the best fantasy books out there. A well-rounded book, I think it’s a must-read for fantasy fans looking for something new!
Recommendations: If you liked Larke, give “The Isles of Glory” and “Mirage Makers” a try! You’ll be blown away by this woman’s creative range.
Other books you might like:
- “The Way of Shadows” by Brent Weeks
- “A Shadow in Summer” by Daniel Abraham
- “The Thief’s Gamble” by Juliet E. Mckenna
- “Heart of Myrial” by Maggie Furey <– arguably my favorite book of all-time!
- “Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson