Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review: Guardian of the Vision by Irene Radford

 I believe I purchased this book from Amazon, to complete my series, since I read it on my Kindle.  It is the third in Radford's Merlin's Descendants series.  I received the first in the series as an Early Reviewer book years ago and have also read the second book, and I think I also received the next book from Early Reviewers as a review copy.  Regardless, I do have the rest of the books, too.

I didn't like this one as much as the others I've read.  I'm not sure why - could be a few reasons.  This book focused on Griffin Kirkwood, another of Merlin's descendants, as the series title suggests.  However, this is the first book that focused on a male protagonist, instead of a female.  Also, at the beginning of the book, Griffin is a Catholic priest.  I am a member of that illustrious religion that is called Raised Catholic, and as such am not particularly religious at this point in my life.  So reading about Griffin's priestly duties was kind of a turn-off for me.  Thirdly, it took a LONG time for this book to get going.  Pretty much until Griffin renounced his calling and started using magic, things were pretty boring.  It took a while for the book to draw me in, which I don't recall being an issue in the previous books.

Anyway, this book follows Griffin and his twin brother Donovan.  Griffin, who has the gift of his ancestor's magical abilities, chooses instead to enter the priesthood.  Donovan, who doesn't possess the same abilities, wishes he had them and spends most of the book trying to draw out the magic he knows must be inside of him.  The Kirkwoods also have a sister, Meg, left a "half-wit" after a brutal rape.  Meg also possesses some of the Merlin's magical traits, but she is unable to focus them, due to her lower mental capabilities.  Who will become the Pendragon once their grandmother, Raven, passes on?  Will either brother be able to stop the beautiful Roanna, host to the Demon of Chaos, Tryblith?  Or will the conflict between Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots, between the Protestants and Catholics, release the demon to wreak havoc upon England?

I'd only give this one three out of five Whatevers.  That is up from the two that I was giving it right up until the end.  The excitement of the ending was enough to convince me to give it a slightly higher rating.  It was just too difficult to get into the book.  Recommended for those who are reading the rest of the series, but not for too many others.