October 08, 2011

To Light a Candle by Mercedes Lackey

To Light a Candle is the 2nd book in the Obsidian Trilogy. It is very important to read the first book before proceeding to this one, however, there are a few things you should know. Kellen is a knight-mage and has been ever since he was cast out of the High Mage city of Armathelieh by his father for practicing wild magic. Since then, he has found his sister, traveled to Elven territory, and helped save it at his own health's expense by destroying a dark keystone set by Demons (known as the Endarkened) to cause a drought in the land of the elves.

Now in this installment, we are brought back to Kellen's party who is traveling back to the elves with Kellen much injured. With him is Jermayan (elven knight and friend), Vestakia (a girl who looks like a demon but is pure of heart), and Shalkan (Kellen's unicorn friend). They reach the elven city safely and there can plan the next course in the battle of the Endarkened. It is decided that the elven children must be sent away to a castle stronghold but on the way there they are kidnapped, including the Elfish prince. Kellen leads a party to rescue them and in doing so discovers a new dark race that will break the Elves hearts, for here is a race that is part Elf part goblin that exists merely to hate the regular elves. It is with sad hearts they must flush this enemy out of their territory. But all is not at a loss, with foe they also find a friend, one who has not been seen for a thousand years, one who is a dragon.

Meanwhile, in the mage city of Armathelieh, things are not going so well. Cilarnen, a young apprentice mage, has grouped together with some others to help put a stop to the city's famine and talk some sense into the high mage council. Unfortunately, they are being led along by an agent of the Endarkened and fall into his trap. Cilarnen is banished from the city, and with the help of an elf, manages to survive the city's hunt (stone dogs that will rend you to pieces). With his mage gift supposedly burned out of his mind he does his best to make what he can of life, but a surprise attack leads him to learn new things and discover that he must get to Kellen to tell him news.

I have to say that I liked Kellen a little less in this book than the first. He constantly worries about things he doesn't need to, and yet never learns from these mistakes. The elves however, are more pronounced, and their ways are more described in this book giving a better insight into this peculiar race of creatures. Idalia, Kellen's sister, takes a rest in this book and doesn't appear nearly as often.

For a book done by two authors, this one flows pretty seamlessly and there isn't a noticeable difference in passages and pages. There is a lot of description though and some of it does get a bit boring. For instance, its admirable what they want to do with the Teas the elves like so much, but after awhile the idea gets a bit monotonous. There are some bloody battle scenes and violence in this book, and while not extremely graphic, perhaps enough to not be appropriate for younger readers.

I can't wait to read the last book in the series although I'll be sad that its over. Its a great story with likeable characters.

To Light a Candle
Copyright 2004
856 pages

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