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Book Review: Elder Empire Trilogy

Introduction:

The Elder Empire is the trilogy of books by Will Wight. Six books are divided among two characters, resulting in three books each, hence, my calling this a trilogy. These books run concurrently, which as a programmer brings a shiver down my spine… for reasons.

This trilogy tells the story of Shera, an assassin under the service of Aurelian empire, affiliated to Consultant’s guild, and Calder Marten, the captain of the ship called Testament, affiliated with Navigator’s guild. While these separated trilogies have different POV characters, they do intersect a lot of time, and it is necessary to read them all to understand the full story.

Plot:

Of Shadow and Sea, Shera book 1:

Shera is a 10-years old girl, rescued by the Consultant’s guild from a man who was planning to use the kidnapped children in some sort of rebellion. From then on, she trained with the Consultant’s guild, worked under the emperor, and now work in the capital of the empire at a desk job. However, she soon has to abandon her desk job, when she’s sent to retrieve the Heart of Nakothi, which would bring many untold horrors into this world.

Of Sea and Shadow, Calder Marten, book 1:

Calder Marten is the captain of the ship called Testament, affiliated with the Navigator’s guild. When Naberius comes to him with a secret mission, he ends up in the middle of the guild politics, ancient plots of the eldritch abominations, and personal betrayals.

Of Darkness and Dawn, Shera book 2:

After Shera becomes a soulbound, one the people who are bound to some object, and are more powerful than any normal human, her weapon starts to poison her mind. While the heart of Nakothi is lost, and The Consultant’s guild emerged victorious, they still have greater challenges among them, as the other guilds are killing regions around the world.

Of Dawn and Darkness, Marten book 2:

Although Marten ends up selected as the successor to the emperor, he has trouble establishing his authority among the guilds. Couple that with the guilds snapping on each other’s throats, his cultish wife, The Consultant’s still opposing him, he has his hands full.

Of Killers and Kings: Shera book 3:

After Shera becomes a soulbound, and gets promoted to the guild head, the guilds decide to meet in an effort to forge an alliance to face against the waking elders. Shera represents The Consultant’s. however when Calder gets exposed as someone who has been marked by an elder, the fight breaks out among the two groups.

As if this wasn’t enough, someone watches the world from the rift in the sky…

Of Kings and Killers, Marten book 3:

Calder calls up a piece meeting with the guilds, which ends in a disaster. After he contacted the outsider watching their world through the rift, he learns that he’s the jailer for the eldritch abominations trapped within this world. And if they get out, he’ll destroy this world. The issues with his authority still persist in this book as well.

My reading experiences:

Let’s talk about Shera. Her time under Maxwell (The guy who wanted to use children for a rebellion,) has left her with issues, as she finds killing easy… or she thinks. often, she just encases her heart in ice, and does the deed, and think about it later. she has two friends, Meia and Lucan, who trained along with her, and served under the emperor together.

Meia is a sort of rival to Shera, who grew up in the Consultant’s island. Her mother is on the council and a legendary figure to boot, (And a total bitch,) as a result she has a chip on her shoulder.

Lucan is one of the readers, people who can see the history of an object just by touching it, (Which reminded me of this fanfic I read a long time ago, where some Aliens had the same powers,) and in some cases, awaken the said object, which I just think of refining the purpose of that object through its history.

Oh yeah, he and Shera are also involved romantically. Thought you should know. We’ll cover this in the conclusion section.

Calder Marten works against the Consultant’s guild in the first book. He has a bad record with the empire, since he destroyed a prison, stole a ship which he now runs, and some other things which are not mentioned in the first book at least.

He also is an idiot. If he would listen to his adviser and the first mate of his ship, I believe his life would be much easier.

In the second book of Shera, more of the backstory of Emperor is revealed. We also see Shera’s weapon acting up, basically behaving like the smaller version of Samehata.

Lucan dies in a mission, killed by Marten’s wife. This has a profound effect on Shera, who is already unstable dew to her weapon. The Consultant’s have to flee their island after other guilds invade.

At least Meia is back with Shera. I feel she could use a friend.

We also learn in this book that Maxwell was actually a rogue Consultant. I wonder whether Shera would learn of this in the future or not, or if she did, she would blew her casquet or not… questions for the next book I suppose.

So, apart from political troubles of Calder, we learn more about the crew of Testament. How did they met Calder, how they joined, it is all revealed in this book.

In Shera’s third book, she is swamped with responsibility, and often wishes to sleep. (A sentiment which I can easily understand.) she tries to delegate the tasks to someone, but each time she does that, she needs to step in the matter anyway, because she is the most powerful member of her guild.

When it was revealed that Calder Marten has been marked by an Elder, she tries to kill him, and seemingly succeed. Only for him to come back later. this is one of those things which requires the reading of the second third book… and isn’t it a mindfuck?

So, apparently, the armor saved Calder from dying. Though he’s not completely recovered, since he now needs to take various drugs and medicines to keep himself alive for the rest of his life.

Conclusion:

Honestly, this trilogy (And yes, I’m sticking to calling it a trilogy,) tried my patience. Not only you have to flip through different books to get all the details, there are flashbacks. Flashbacks upon flashbacks. Even more flashbacks. And this is the reason why I needed to take a break, because all the reviews I prepared in advance ran out while I was reading this series.

It was almost as if Will was trying to emulate Kishimoto or something. It’ll be too soon if I have to read another flashback.

The fact that the main villains are the eldritch abominations doesn’t help any, for whatever inhuman powers they possessed. The Incarnations of The Traveler’s Gate Trilogy were still human… for the given value of human.

But there are some up-sides too. Will excels in writing fighting scenes, and it is evident in this series. Especially when Shera blasted Nakothi in the style of Gilgamesh.

Having said that, I suggest you try this trilogy at your own risk. And a request from Will: Please don’t write concurrent books, they’re not fun in programming, and they’re not fun in storytelling either.

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Published by Tanish Shrivastava

I'm a guy who likes programming, chess, and writing.

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