Review: Blood of Aenarion & Sword of Caledor (Tyrion & Teclis Trilogy) / Author: William King / Publisher: The Black Library / Release Date: Out Now
William King’s Tyrion & Teclis Trilogy is a return to fantasy novels for the highly popular writer, and given that the second book in the series, Sword of Caledor, has just been released and the first book, Blood of Aenarion, is now in paperback, we may as well review them at the same time.
The first book plunges us straight into the action with an ancient Elvish empire on the brink of destruction. Tyrion and Teclis are twins; one is the greatest swordsman, the other the greatest sorcerer. Together, these two high-born elves face danger at every corner as they try to pull their civilisation from annihilation. These are heroes in the making, and we get a nice combination of Elivish arrogance and their superior ability to beat up bad guys. King relies on a bit of reader familiarity at the first; there’s an expectation that you know who these characters are without much introduction. The twins work well together and there is a real buzz about them. Though there isn’t anything new here, their story is a lot of fun.
Sword of Caledor begins as more of the same, though by now we have a good handle on the characters and the setting. However, whereas the first book was an action-packed romp, the second book meanders a lot and really does feel like a middle movie. The first book promised that we would see the twins growing into heroes, and instead they seem to be in a holding pattern. It feels like some sort of big reveal is missing, and there simply isn’t enough adventure. There is no point in great characterisation without peril, and this is sorely lacking. Though both are skillfully-wrought fantasy adventures, Sword of Caledor feels like less of an effort has been made. It wastes the momentum of the first book, and that’s a real shame.
The pacing is a little off in both books, though more so in Blood of Aenarion. This is mostly because there is a big chunk of backstory to deal with, and it’s hard to do High Elves justice without a little bit of politics. Though this is fine, it does break up the derring-do somewhat, which is a pity as there isn’t enough action in either books. The flaw with trilogies is that it you have to judge the books on how they work together, and the second book really lets it down. The next book, Bane of Malekith, has a lot of work to do.