This week, our series on Tom Deitz’s David Sullivan books continues with Fireshaper’s Doom.
In Fireshaper’s Doom, the consequences of the actions of David Sullivan and his friends in Windmaster’s Bane catch up to them, albeit after almost a year of time passing between the end of that book and the beginning of this one.
While Ailill may have been defeated, that dark lord of the Sidhe has kin and allies that have not taken his defeat at all well. As the book begins, we see them set out to free Ailill and avenge themselves upon the unfortunate mortal who was the root of his downfall: David Sullivan.
But the plot thickens! There are others seeking Ailill, as well, and for reasons of their own. Ailill left behind a lover—the mother of his son—and she seeks to free Ailill as well, although not for his sake, but for her vengeance upon him. And in seeking her revenge, she finds the perfect tool in Ailill’s Bane: David Sullivan.
Fireshaper’s Doom has everything that made Windmaster’s Bane great, while simultaneously introducing us to a few new characters, both mortal and Sidhe. David and his best friend, Alec, are joined by more members of the “MacTyrie Gang,” as they are called: Gary Hudson and Darrell “Runnerman” Buchanan. In the faerie lands, we learn of other races of beings, such as the Powersmiths, and come face to face with Ailill’s twin sister Fionna, and his former lover (and mother of his son) Morwyn.
I’m not going to delve any deeper into the plot, for fear of spoiling it for anyone who has not yet read the book. I will say, however, that the plot is really an extension of the events in Windmaster’s Bane, and, as such, is very satisfying. The growth of the world (and the skill in showing us more of the worlds) is handled very well. We are also treated to further hints as to the ultimate destination to which the narrative is heading. There are plans, and portents, and all manner of interesting things.
That said, the characters really remain the heart of the book, and, while David has changed (and been changed) by his discovery that magic is real, he retains that core appeal that drew me to the books in the first place. It’s not lessened, and, in fact, is somewhat enhanced. Knowing that magic exists has made the world more wondrous, if also much more dangerous.
I will admit that there are one or two not-so-ideal aspects to the book that stood out a bit more as I read it this time. Most of these have to do with the fact that it is an older work of fantasy, and reflects a slightly older societal view of what is and is not okay to say. These instances are, however, incredibly minor and I don’t want to draw attention to them by singling them out. It’s entirely possible to miss them entirely when caught up in the rest of this wonderful narrative.
Because it does retain that wonderful sense of storytelling, a casual, powerful grasp of story. It still feels like a fantastic yarn, spun by a master, as he sits out on the back porch underneath a sky full of stars.
All in all, wonderfully enjoyable.
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Next: Darkthunder’s Way