Ossus Library Index
Fantasy Index


A novel by Patty Jansen
(2013, Capricornica Publications)

Icefire Trilogy, book 3

As the icefire storm approaches, the Queen tries to survive an attack by the Eagle Knights, and Sady searches for a way to save his people by understanding the people from the south.


-- First reading (ebook)
May 18th to 27th, 2020


The author has nicely brought together the disparate elements of the previous two books, and created an intense story with all the characters, which feels coherent. I like the way she took risks with the characters, putting them into all sorts of trouble, and realistically getting them out of it, but with much difficulty. I also liked the way the separated characters had no knowledge of what was going on elsewhere, while the readers do, so we can see them going in the wrong directions. Finally, it’s an interesting and neat choice for many chapters to back to overlap with previous chapters, but from a different point of view, so in some ways we knew what was going on even as the new point of view was just discovering it.

Spoiler review:

The first book in this series introduced us to Tandor, and it seemed like he was the good guy, trying to overthrow the evil Eagle Knights. Carro and Isandor seemed to corroborate that idea, as the Eagle Knights treated them poorly, and the Chief Rider wanted to father the teen queen’s children, to put himself and his kids on the throne. Then Tandor triggered the icefire explosion, and the world was put into turmoil.

The second book introduced us to the apparently more modern and civilized Chevakia, where Sadi took over the government to try and deal with the financial, icefire (called sonorics there) and refugee crisis. Tandor lost control of his servitor, and Isandor and Jevaithi had a lot of sex before being discovered by Milius and brought to the capital city.

This book focuses a lot more on the better defined characters and situations of the second book. Tandor is almost completely absent, and he is powerless. It’s not clear if Isandor and Jevaithi will be married or if their intense relationship produced any children. The family tree is confusing, and took a while for me to reconcile. The big reveal is that Isandor and Jevaithi are twins, though they may continue in a physical relationship like in Game of Thrones. At the end, she was raped by Cornitan, though, so how can she be sure any children from that period are Isandor’s? There’s the complicated royal family, where Tandor switched the queen at birth, but were they both from Maraith? How did Tandor father them? And how did/when Isandor get his foster mother pregnant? It’s possible these details were provided in the previous novels, but I don’t remember them.

The story has two main fronts, one in Sady’s house, and the other in the refugee camp, with a bunch of side plots to continue what was started in the previous books in the series.

Sady is the only one who tries to do anything, but his lack of experience and lack of real power mean that he’s really just an observer through most of the book. Lorianne’s baby is born, a half-breed between the warring sides, which can change shape into a dacon, a hugely powerful flying beast that can absorb icefire. It kills four people, and Tandor is found nearby with a knife and blood, so he’s arrested and not released until the very end, when it turns out he’s also impotent to control the beast.

Sady runs around from the prison to the government and to his house, where he discovers that the southerners are not as bad as they’d always been led to believe. He and Lorianne fall in love, the conclusion to his poor and regret-filled relationships with two other women in his life. The entire time, he tries to get things done, but others walk all over him. He can’t understand the sonorics readings, doesn’t believe in icefire, though he comes to a grudging respect for it when faced with irrevocable proof from his houseguests. This part of the book is about the relationships, and the characters are nicely drawn out for this.

In the camp, Isandor and Jevaithi are also rather impotent. They are discovered by their people, and are manipulated by the Brotherhood of Light, which wants to restore the old kingdom. This is where Isandor discovers that Jevaithi is his sister. But he stands up to fight. He doesn’t have much effect on the story, but it’s about who he is as a character, which is a good person, hating the feud and the wars. That becomes important as he takes control of the dacon and sucks the icefire out of the storm. Tandor, for his part, realizes that Isandor is right, and sacrifices himself to his servitor so the other icefire demons can be killed.

Meanwhile, Sady finally makes some decisions, and the chief of the military begins to have some respect for him, as the descend into the camp in balloons, fighting the Eagle Knights all the way.

Carro, who was Isandor’s friend in the first book until he betrayed him for the love of an absentee father, undergoes the largest transformation. He’s always been a wimp, but was an Eagle Knight. He can’t stand up to the other men who want to have sex with him, he hates himself because of it and what he does. He wants to serve the queen, not rape her and allow her to be killed. He hates his father, but wants to be loved and accepted by him. The whole book leads to his decision to kill his father, the chief rider Cornitan, who is the architect of all the evil in the two lands. The last straw is his father’s rape of the queen. He’s not strong or skilled enough to kill his father, until a distraction offers him the chance, and he slits the man’s throat. It was a shockingly short sequence, and one of the most satisfying because of that.

A new age is ushered in now, with peace between the two lands, corruption due to Tandor’s mother removed from the government of Chevakia, Sady in charge there, with Isandor (and probably Jevaithi?) as king and queen in the south, all good people. The icefire explosion has dissipated, and nobody thinks servitors are good ideas. It’s not clear how much icefire remains in the world, but I suppose that’s a subject for a future trilogy, as there are all sorts of unanswered questions.

I liked the way the author concentrated on the best-developed characters and refined the plot to the best aspects of this series. It raised the end of the trilogy to a higher level than the previous books, but it still had to carry the confusing baggage. At least the most annoying characters from those books had a chance to grow, or were pushed to the sidelines.


Back to Top

All reviews and page designs at this site Copyright © 1999 -  by Warren Dunn, all rights reserved.