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The Daemon Prism

by Carol Berg

Series: Collegia Magica (3)

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1445146,891 (3.94)18
Consumed with despair, the blind necromancer Dante seeks refuge in a magical puzzle-- a puzzle that supposedly fulfills one's utmost desires. But it's actually a seductive trap, threatening to unleash the very cataclysm he fears.

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Showing 5 of 5
A worthy follow-up to the first two in the series. In this installment, the reader gets a fuller understanding of the prickly, difficult wizard Dante, and background on why he is the way he is.
Of course, his characteristics get him into the most untenable situations, and here, he finds himself in the position of being forced to hide his true motives once again.
The bulk of the book is his POV, but we also get a good chunk of Anne's perspective, and a bit of Portier.

I thought this was going to be the last book in the series - but Berg definitely leaves it open for further events at the end! (Without creating an annoying cliffhanger - there's definitely a satisfying sense of conclusion.)

I truly enjoy Berg's writing - if you're looking for traditional fantasy with all the good stuff that ought to be there, which is also well-written, with rich characters and settings... she's your author.

Terrible, terribly embarrassing cover though. Really. Get a new artist. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
My least favourite of the trilogy. It didn't quite work for me and I'm not sure why, maybe it was just the pacing, but the plotting also seemed somewhat more contrived and I never really believed in it. I was very much looking forward to this, from the aesthete Portier, through the romantic if practical Anne, this was now the turn of the enigmatic and now blind Dante, master magician irascible double agent beyond compare or reproach. How could his story not be fascinating.

But it wasn't. Abandoned by Anne, he received a couple of odd messages and decides to travel 'halfway around the world' to further his quest for knowledge and understand them. Which already raised my hackles. It's the standard too small a world problem. Plus al the instances of his being blind were badly handled. He misses the odd cup, but can tell the angle of the sun, ride a horse and frequently walk without hindrance in a world that doesn't have level pavements or clearly defined curbs. It turns out - eventually after a very long trek of no significance at all - that the matter of the odd messages is an ancient cursed girl who holds a stone of power, one of three. But Jaquard the escaped adept is involved too and a fanatic priest is chasing Dante meanwhile. None of this really rang true. Sadly the ending is even more complex with a very bizarre ret-conning of how the world works, twisting all previous explanations into an odd spiritual plane. It sort of made sense, and was mostly internally consistent, but I didn't like it much, nor feel it an appropriate explanation for how the events of the previous two books came to be.

The writing remains excellent however, the characters scintillating and true to form, something that is ever Berg's strongest points. If only for the heros though, the various bit parts never quite worked, Rhea needed much more voice, Andero and the priest changed too much.

Despite all that I was hooked pretty much throughout the trilogy, and it's a great series if you like this sort of thing, but I'm not sure I'll be re-reading it soon ( )
  reading_fox | Dec 22, 2014 |
A nice wrap-up to the trilogy, Daemon Prism brings the entire world of the College Magica full circle. We also have closure on most of our key characters from this and previous books (the happily ever after type of closure) - but not everybody, which keeps the ending from feeling too pat with *all* loose ends tied up.

The story takes up two years after Soul Mirror, and is told mostly from the point of view of Dante. He travels to his birthplace after encountering a mysterious woman and mysterious green gem in dreams. The conspiracy may have been broken, but the potential for trouble is still there and the problem of Ixtador remains. Dante knows that the story is not over.

Since the characters are split up for various reasons, we also get narration from the point of view of Ann and then a little bit from Portier and Ilario (!). I couldn't decide if I liked that approach to dealing with the fact that the characters were separated. I've found that it's usually fine for the viewpoint character to elicit the stories of the journeys the other characters took to get to him. Maybe Berg just wanted to have fun writing from other viewpoints.

The new characters introduced are great, although I felt Rhea the healer was not fully fleshed out, and Andero was a little bit too perfect, and the John Deune storyline never really went anywhere. It seemed just to be a vehicle for convenience. And speaking of convenience, the tetrach storyline was a little bit too convenient as well. And Ilario's secret just seems to be getting out all over. He guarded it so carefully for almost his whole life, and the number of characters finding out about him just increases in every book.

Despite all my criticisms, Berg is one of my all-time favourite authors. I have higher standards for her than most other people. ;) ( )
  meow9th | Jan 19, 2013 |
An excellent ending to the trilogy. Dante finally gets his day; the depth of his character intrigued me from the first book, and it finally filled out in this installment. Not recommended for those who have not read the previous books, but if you held out for the first two, get this one too.

Like the others, there is a lot going on. There are a few new characters and lots of changes of scenery. It takes work to keep up with the timeline, but if you keep reading it will come back around. Berg is such a great weaver, but she doesn't require you to follow it all yourself. She'll give you closure, but not until the story has reached it.

This is a series I will read again, and I know there are plenty of things I must have missed that will surprise me the next time around. ( )
  VivalaErin | Jun 4, 2012 |
Sorry, I like this series so much there's no room for rational thought about it. Was it good? What was good about it? What did you like about it? I have no idea. I got the box at six p.m. and read until 1 a.m. and was glad of it, that's all :) ( )
  dknippling | Jan 9, 2012 |
Showing 5 of 5
Top-notch storytelling and in-depth characterizations make this series a must for lovers of period fantasy.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Peter Petruski (Jan 1, 2012)
When the narrative started I had a hard time understanding how this new plot line continued that of the previous books....But, as in the previous books, patience wins out--Berg has a bigger picture in mind through the entire series. Dante's story is compelling, and it's worth the wait to watch it slowly build and come together in the final climax of the series.
If you've read the previous books, yes THE DAEMON PRISM is worth the effort to see it through. Berg does take her sweet time telling the story, but there is a purpose to it, and when the threads start coming together in the final 70 or so pages, everything gets mashed up and jumbled and exciting.
Can you read THE DAEMON PRISM without reading the first two? No, and you wouldn't want to. The previous novels are worth the slow buildup of information--magical, historical, religious, character--and the time it takes to see this series to the very end.
Recommended Age: 16+ more for comprehension than content
Language: Fewer than five instances
Violence: Death, torture, and grisly magic rites, much more than in previous books
Sex: Referenced and described in a handful of instances (including as part of a death ritual), although without detail

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To Kylie, Madeline, and Ethan. May you always see the magic.
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"Stop right there!" I bellowed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Consumed with despair, the blind necromancer Dante seeks refuge in a magical puzzle-- a puzzle that supposedly fulfills one's utmost desires. But it's actually a seductive trap, threatening to unleash the very cataclysm he fears.

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Average: (3.94)
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