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Equipoise by Kim Fielding
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The final story in the trilogy about Ennek’s and Miner’s journey is an adventure that is as suspenseful and exciting as anything happening in the first two books, but it is also the tale of Ennek’s maturation into a more balanced individual. Miner plays a significant role in this process - in fact I don’t think Ennek could have gotten half as far as he did were it not for his lover’s unwavering support. Set in a fantasy world of city-states, strict laws that can result in magic-induced stasis for the worst criminals, and slavery as punishment for any infraction the leader deems serious, the moral of this story is still as applicable to our world as it is to Ennek’s. He struggles to find a better way to rule than by hereditary chiefs, he figures out how to find friends and allies to help him, and he deals with his own magical abilities with a strength born from experience that he didn’t have before.

Different from the previous books - where Ennek told the story in the first volume, and Miner continued the tale in the second – both main characters get a voice in this third installment. As much as what they go through and how they deal with the obstacles still in their way, the fact that I heard from both of them equally made it clear that balance was what they were ultimately looking for. It also reassured me that they might eventually achieve it, since much of what happened in this epic series externally has been reflected in the way Ennek and Miner’s relationship developed. Very well done!

The descriptions of events, people, and the areas Ennek and Miner travel through were as lively and fascinating as ever. I felt as though I was walking next to them as they traveled, got hungry when some of the food and drink they consumed sounded particularly appetizing, and enjoyed the sounds and smells they encountered as much as the visual descriptions of the sights they appreciated. Miner’s progress in the artistic field, as well as his growing reading abilities turned out to be as interesting as Ennek’s varied uses of magic – both his own and the ones he “collected” along the way.

But what I liked best of all was the ending. In a slight twist of what I expected, and in a total stroke of genius, Ennek changes his plan and manages to pull victory straight out of the maws of certain defeat. It all happens at the very last second and so fast that I had to go back to reread the scene to fully understand the beauty of it. Absolutely amazing, and yet so very fitting with what Ennek and Miner are all about, and with what they set out to achieve.

If you like fantasy worlds with lots of magic, a seemingly impossible quest for a solution to ancient problems, and suspense, and if you’re looking for a read about young men who are building a relationship while facing multiple external and internal obstacles and some tough choices, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. I think it is the perfect third book in this outstanding trilogy.

NOTE: This book was provided by DSP Publications for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews. ( )
  SerenaYates | Oct 14, 2017 |
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