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Carol Berg is a genius, I am not exaggerating or anything

Carol Berg is a genius, I am not exaggerating or anything published on 2 Comments on Carol Berg is a genius, I am not exaggerating or anything

ash and silver

Ever since the Order of the Equites Cineré stole his memory, his name, and his heart, thinking about the past makes Greenshank’s head ache. After two years of rigorous training, he is almost ready to embrace the mission of the Order—to use selfless magic to heal the troubles of Navronne. But on his first assignment alone, the past comes racing back, threatening to drown him in conspiracy, grief, and murder.

He is Lucian de Remeni—a sorcerer whose magical bents for portraiture and history threaten the safety of the earth and the future of the war-riven kingdom of Navronne. He just can’t remember how or why.

Fighting to unravel the mysteries of his power, Lucian must trace threads of corruption that reach from the Pureblood Registry into the Order itself, the truth hidden two centuries in the past and beyond the boundaries of the world…

A few words about this book. Several years ago, she wrote a duology about a young wastrel named Valen, who is addicted to drugs and on the run from his family. Obviously, there is much there that resonates with me, and the Lighthouse Duology became two of my favorite books ever. Berg is one of those writers who likes to keep it fresh and exciting — much like Guy Gavriel Kay, she completes a project and then starts over with a fresh world, new characters, a new system of magic, and new challenges. Never once did I think she would return to Navronne and to Valen. Then, a couple years ago, she announced that she would indeed be exploring Navronne again, in a companion series.

I have to admit, that made me groan. If there is one thing I like more than falling in love with a character, it is having the promise of more books featuring said character. A new duology set in Navronne, but void of Valen? It seemed a sort of torture. There is room for more about Valen — the ending of Breath and Bone seemed poised to be the perfect spring from which a new duet could emerge.

And then I read Dust and Light.

Lucian is the complete opposite of my favorite rampaging drug addict. He never met a rule he didn’t love to uphold, he took his responsibilities seriously, and he would never, ever have repudiated his family as did Valen. Lawful good types usually annoy me, but there is something beautiful and pure about Lucian.

The world-building, though. I am deeply amazed at how the two duets fit so seamlessly together. The Sanctuary books (Dust and Light, and Ash and Silver) fulfill the Lighthouse books, and give them more meaning, more nuance. I don’t know how she did this, I really don’t. Maybe she had Lucian in mind all the while she wrote Valen. Perhaps she knew the mysteries of the Sanctuary duet before she even probed the mysteries of the Lighthouse. Perhaps she is a genius.

I miss my drug addict wastrel Valen, but throughout Ash and Silver, Lucian became the bravest man I have ever met. Word is that she will one day return to Navronne to finish the story, to have the unstoppable Valen meet immovable Lucian, to see what happens when Order meets Disorder. Until that day comes, I think I will go ahead and reread all the books (again) to see if there are any connections I missed the first three times. Come join me!

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Carol Berg is the author of several fantasy novels, including the books from the Rai-Kirah series, Song of the Beast, the books from The Bridge of D’Arnath series, the Lighthouse novels, the Collegia Magica Chronicles, and the Sanctuary Duet.

Berg holds a degree in mathematics from Rice University, and a degree in computer science from the University of Colorado.[1] Before writing full-time, she designed software. She lives in Colorado, and is the mother of three boys.

J Wilbanks

J Wilbanks

Reviewer and Columnist at Galleywampus
She has a cat.
J Wilbanks

2 Comments

Well, you are correct, Ms. Berg is brilliant! I adore her books, and the Lighthouse Duet is one of my all-time favorites. I love Valen, and I am absolutely crazy about, believe it or not, Osriel. I would love to read a story that focuses on him, whether from his past or after the ending of Breath and Bone. He’s a much more complex person than a new reader of Dust and Light/Ash and Silver would realize, so I urge them to be sure to read Flesh and Spirit/Breath and Bone after they read this new duology.

Ms. Berg has no equal in world-building and character depiction. Absolutely wonderful. I feel like it’s Christmas whenever she has a new book out!

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