fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reveiws C.S. Friedman Magister Trilogy 2: Wings of WrathWings of Wrath by C.S. Friedman

C.S. Friedman’s Wings of Wrath is the second book in her Magister Trilogy. It focuses on the story of a god-blessed race, the lyr, who have spent the last 1000 years preparing for the return of the Souleaters. At the end of the previous war with the Souleaters, the gods sent a magical wall, known as the Wrath, to bar them from ever being able to cross back into human lands again. Ever since, the lyr have been guarding the Wrath and watching for the Souleaters to reappear. But now the Wrath is weakening, and Souleaters have been seen again.

What would have been a standard band-of-heroes-on-a-quest-to-save-civilization-from-the-evil-monsters story in the hands of a lesser author shines here with Friedman’s writing. Her prose is lush, and she uses incredible imagery to create a world that lives. She elicits an emotional response from the reader, at one point bringing tears to my eyes, and at another point leaving me stunned in shock. The pacing is impeccable. Even though this is the second book in the series, it manages to simultaneously advance the story and set up the finale, while yet having a major climax and resolution of plot lines that makes the story stand on its own.

Friedman excels at dark fantasy and characterization, and both of those talents are on full display in Wings of Wrath. Magic in this world requires the expenditure of life energy, either your own or someone else’s, and that sets up a system of magic that is vampiric in flavor. The Souleaters are just what they sound like — enormous creatures that are somewhat of a cross in looks between a dragon and a dragonfly, that feed on the souls of humans. These two elements combine to create a world that is dark, though richly detailed and fully fleshed out. Friedman balances three different major plot lines with several different characters providing points of view. Each character has his or her own motivations, and each person has flaws. These characters undergo major challenges in this book, and deal with them in psychologically realistic ways.
C.S. Friedman is also willing to kill off major characters when the plot needs it, which provides an added note of realism and tension to the story.

Wings of Wrath is an excellent book. It is tightly plotted with interesting characters and well paced action, which makes this a novel I can highly recommend to anyone who enjoys their fantasy emotionally realistic and dark. I am wondering how Friedman will manage to tie up all the story lines with just one book to go, and am eagerly anticipating finding out.

Magister — (2007-2011) As the name implies, there will be three books. Publisher: At the end of her bestselling Coldfire Trilogy, C.S. Friedman challenged readers to imagine what a world would be like if sorcery required the ultimate sacrifice — that of life itself. Now, in a groundbreaking new fantasy novel, Feast of Souls, she introduces us to a terrifying new world in which the cost of magic is just that — a world in which the fuel for sorcery is the very fire of the human spirit, and those who hunger for magical power must pay for it with their lives. In this epic tale of terrifying shadows and desperate hope, the greatest threat of all may not be that of ancient enemies returned, or ancient wars resumed, but of the darkness that lies within the hearts of men.

C.S. Friedman The Magister Trilogy: 1. Feast of Souls 2. Wings of WrathC.S. Friedman The Magister Trilogy: 1. Feast of Souls 2. Wings of WrathC.S. Friedman The Magister Trilogy: 1. Feast of Souls 2. Wings of Wrath 3. Legacy of Kings


  • Ruth Arnell

    RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.