Book Review: Enchanter by Sara Douglass (Book 2 of The Axis Trilogy)

Enchanter continues the story of Axis, one time BattleAxe of the Axe-Wielders, now Axis Sunsoar, and his attempt to unite the peoples of Achar and subsequently save the land from the Forbidden as set out by The Prophecy.

This instalment begins with a recount of what happened in Gorkenfort two weeks previously.  Axis and his men served as a diversion to draw the skraelings away from the fort so that Borneheld could lead as many people as possible to safety.  Borneheld is now amassing troops at Jervois Landing, under his own command.  Borneheld’s distrust of everyone is deeping.  Timozel is only one of a few that Borneheld trusts.  However, Timozel, who has sworn to be the champion of Lady Faraday (Borneheld’s wife and the lover of Axis), has fallen further under the spell of the terrifying Gangrael, though Borneheld believes it to be Artor.

After Axis and his men battled with the Skraelings beyond Gorkenfort, he makes his way back to Talon Spike, home of his father’s people, the Icarii, to develop his abilities as an enchanter.  At the same time there is friction between Axis and his father, StarDrifter, mainly because they are both in love with Azhure, and she must choose between them.

However, Azhure, her presence, her abilities, her effect on both enchanters, raises suspicious questions in other quarters.  Who is she really and where did she come from?  Those questions make everyone a little uncomfortable but no-one wants to hear them, especially Axis who is completely besotted with her.

Faraday is also bound up by The Prophecy, and she still loves Axis.  However, her part forces her to remain with her husband, Borneheld.  She knows not about Azhure, or the feelings Axis has towards her.

As we near the end of the book, a number of things come to a head: the tension between Axis and Borneheld, the love triangle between Axis, Faraday and Azhure, and more of The Prophecy comes to pass.  All of this, and more, leads up to a much-anticipated final book in the trilogy.

One thing I noticed whilst reading Enchanter is that I still found, as I had in BattleAxe, that some of the names bugged me a little…StarDrifter, MorningStar, SpikeFeather, RavenCrest…However, Enchanter continues in epic fantasy fashion and it’s hard not to get caught up in the drama that unfolds.  I struggled to put the book down because of the strong need to find out how the book ends.  The many characters weave in and out of the vast story with ease, and the world that the author has created vividly comes to life.  Descriptions are rich, dialogue flows and the story progresses with a mixture of action, adventure, discovery, mystery, secrets, magic and romance.

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