Lore Bringer - Book Three of The Last Clansman by Miller Lau
Pocket (UK) Trade: ISBN 0743440838 PubDate: 03/01/04
Review by Iain Emsley
480 pgs. List price £6.99
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There is a canker in Sutra, a unstoppable creeping army of decay spreading across the land. It is a force that is disturbing the dreams of many in this world as well as destroying armies in Sutra. It is a force that is anathema to the lyrical form of the world it invades and as such goes to the heart of fantasy.
This decay resonates with a Navajo shaman who sends his son to Glasgow and makes contact with Talisker, Malky and Effie Morgan, now in serious problems with drugs. Having returned to the Navajo reservation they enter Sutra and discover a land in crisis, having forgotten its own ways, dependent upon a prophecy to alleviate their problems. All is not well with the group though, Talisker is seriously ill and the actions of Talisker will resonate in this novel. In the assassinations and counter assassinations, the strained line between friend and foe becomes increasingly desperate but it also offers redemption to the travelers.
Lore Bringer is the third in this series, following Talisker and Dark Thane [see review]. Lau has cultivated a land that has developed but has fallen into decay and is in need of healing. It is, in the way of all fantasy lands, intimately bound to the fates of those who inhabit it. Each of the travelers has come through to the land and has gained their own role within, but the inherent time lapse has allowed the society to move in a natural fashion rather than retaining the same characters all through the book.
What Lau has neatly done is transform this book from the Guy Kay style of fantasy a more Charles de Lint style, instead of the land being all, it is the stories which animate the world and give it meaning. Although the Navajo will seem to be a shock to the system of the story, it has been present within Sutra with the Sidhe and the Fine.
What this author is able to do is to deliver characters who have very personal agendas but that lift from the page and work together to deliver a decent narrative, yet she delivers too strong action sequences when needed. Lau balances the varying voices of fantasy and draws the strengths from each.
This is a fine conclusion to the series and it also makes the reader want to reread the series in entirety. Lau shows that the canker can be broken and defeated as she brings story back to the world.