With Come the Wind—the second in his series, The Book of Banea—author Alexander Edlund creates a lush tapestry of fantasy, coming of age story that links the power of one woman to the skills and talents of all women.
Breea Banea, born to the Library of Limtir, became aware of her destiny as an Alach “weaver” or manipulator of etheric energies in A Woman Warrior Born, causing her to take up arms against the mysterious Oregule threatening her people. In Come the Wind we learn that the Oregule are in fact evil shapeshifters manipulated by an ancient enemy of Limtir. In her attempt to overcome the Oregule, Breea must free the regions they dominate. She will do so both as a warrior, and more reluctantly, as a queen, a role she adopts in order to recruit the Kultash and other peoples to her side in battle.
In her new role as “Chosen,” Breea, a natural leader, will meet war victims needing help, consider the possibly duplicitous priest, Duyazen, and convene with leaders of all the region’s armies whose support she needs, but who mistrust her new edict that women can fight alongside men. But most significantly perhaps, she is approached by a stranger who speaks her Limtir tongue and advises her of a great prophecy concerning “six Alach-born children who are destined each to destroy an Oregule. A child each of earth, wind, life, light, fire, and song.”
Unknown to Breea, even as this fateful prediction is uttered two of her own faithful followers, the lord Taumea and his companion Valenia are already on the trail of Alach sisters, Anila and Spe, who though young, display mighty powers not unlike those to which Breea herself is heir. Together they will take on the nefarious Oregule.
Edmund’s prose is potent, with no wasted words and many splendid ones. He celebrates Breea’s warrior nature along with her wisdom and the extraordinary abilities she has been given while showing her “human” failings and self-doubts for balance. She is always willing to take advice from her servant Dori and the refugee Simarn, who is proving herself to be as strong and fearless as her new queen. Though at times seeming burdened with holding together the fabric of his fantasy through every conceivable situation, Edlund is as faithful as he can be to the powers and limitations of every character and creature he has created. His book would benefit with a brief precis of the first volume in the series to bring the reader up to speed, even a glossary of terms would be useful. This is no slight – it is indicative of an exceptionally intricate world and readers will not want to miss a beat.
In this war and weapon-filled coming of age fantasy, one woman’s strengths and aspirations prove her worthiness as a leader. Exceptionally intricate world building and potent prose — readers will not want to miss a beat of this epic fantasy!