Successor’s Promise: Book 3 of Millennium’s Rule by Trudi Canavan Review

“The sight brought unwelcome memories of a collapsing tower and a wave of guilt. Tyen pushed both away. It had been ten cycles since the tragedy of Spirecastle’s collapse […] but he still recalled it clearly. The determination to assist hardened in him. This time I can do something to help, he told himself. If they’ll let me.”

Successor’s Promise is the third instalment in Trudi Cavanan’s series entitled ‘Millennium’s Rule’. See previous reviews on Angel of Storms and Thief’s Magic for details on the author and previous instalments.

Another Five cycles have passed since the end of the previous book and we are reunited with our favourite duo: Rielle and Tyen. Looking for a new life and home, away from those who would deem him a spy, Tyen settles in a world known for its clay works called Doum. However, without the laws of the Raen the worlds are in upheaval and nowhere is safe. Soon sabotage and the threat of war forces Tyen’s hand and he is forced to intervene in the world’s affairs. This is where Tyen is reunited with Rielle and for a while both are content after taking a strong liking for each other’s company. But this cannot last as events unfold that drag Tyen into a Frankensteinesque world of dead corpses and resurrection. Can the Raen’s most loyal, Dahli, manipulate Tyen into resurrecting the Raen? Can the war machines causing havoc around the worlds, and for which Tyen feels partially responsible, be stopped?

Rielle, on the other hand, must take responsibility for the child Qall, who she had left in the care of Travellers. The Travellers can no longer take responsibility for the child and Rielle must protect Qall from the Raen’s most loyal who plans on using him as a vessel for Valhan’s memories. The Restorers, formerly known as rebels, have not been able to establish peace and control over the worlds and chaos reigns supreme. Will Rielle be able to teach and protect Qall while escaping to the outer edges of the known worlds? Will Dahli’s threats and manipulations lead to the return of ‘the ruler of worlds’?

After the second book I had expected the third to be equally good, if not better. However, I was disappointed with the third instalment, which promised much but delivered little. Not that the book did not begin well, the ideas were all there and the book seemed to be leading to a satisfying climax. But there were too many half-explored ideas and a weak conclusion which caused the book to fizzle out at the end. Thinking back, a lot of the book contained endless travelling between worlds and contemplation about what might happen rather than anything of significance actually happening. Also, the introduction of Qall did not work well as he is a thoroughly unlikable character who becomes a significant part of the story. The affection felt for Qall by many of the characters seem to be entirely unwarranted and leaves the reader with little sympathy for his predicament. The ending appears to have left little room for a fourth instalment with everything seemingly wrapped up, but it will be interesting to see what Canavan will do with the fourth book. I give the book 3 out of 5, with the hope that the fourth book will make up for all the half explored ideas.


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