The novel is divided into two parts, sort of. One story tells about Tyen, a history and magic student. He lives in the city, where factories use most of available magic. One day, during his excursion he discovers Vella, a book that used to be a woman. Vella’s purpose is to collect knowledge and give it to future generations.
In another world, a girl named Rielle is brought up to believe that using magic means stealing from Angels. She knows she has some talent for it, but she has to hide it. She lives in the world ruled by priests and she’s rather quiet and not daring, until the day where she helps to capture the man who was illegally using magic.
With these events both of the characters are put into dangerous situations and their lives are changing. As is happens with Trudi, there’s a lot of action and some of internal thoughts that are meant to show the characters’ developments. The worlds created are as usually fascinating and despite the 600-sth pages, it’s a very fast read. I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t put it down till I was done. Unfortunately, I will have to wait at least till November this year for the second part and till next year for the third one.
I must admit I did a little of “cheating” with this novel. Tyen’s and Rielle’s stories are told in 10 parts, alternately, one part about Tyen, one about Tielle, then about Tyen again. I was reading about Tyen first, omitting the parts about Rielle, and then I came back to read about the girl, omitting the parts about Tyen, which I had already read. It actually felt as if I was reading two different books by the same author. Tyen and Rielle never meet during the whole book, and I was wondering if their stories are in the same universe/portal. I’m still not sure, but I guess this will be discovered in the next parts.
In Trudi’s other trilogies I read she included social injustices, political division of the world, lower classes being “worse” than higher. Also, there was a lot of stuff about women being treated unfairly and about gays. This, and more, can be also found in this trilogy. A big concern in the book is that “magic” is being lost. That in a few years the world where Tyen and Rielle live, there will be no magic available. I see this as a commentary to the modern world that is using the Earth’s resources, which are limited, also.
Trudi’s books are most of all fun. She has a great imagination and creates worlds of magicians, priests, magical creatures and interesting characters. Even if the details will not be in my memory for a long time, I enjoy reading them a lot. A big plus to Trudi’s books in general, not only this one, is for things not being what they seem. Also, for the characters’ developments, especially where they have to face that what they were told their whole lives, is often a lie.
Seriously, I’m in love with her. I may find some faults with her books, if I really focus, but I don’t want to. It’s great fun. It’s addictive. It will keep you up at night. It will keep you from learning for your exams – as it did for me. Try it. Absolutely worth it.