The Tower Broken – Tower and Knife #3 – Mazarkis Williams
The world is at breaking point. The nothing, a terrible darkness caused by the festering wounds of a god, bleeds out the very essence of all, of stone, silk – and souls. Emperor Sarmin thought he had stopped it, but it is spreading towards his city, Cerana – and he is powerless to halt the destruction. Even as Cerana fills with refugees, the Yrkmen armies arrive with conquest in mind, but they offer to spare Sarmin’s people if they will convert to the Mogyrk faith. Time is running out for Sarmin and his wife, Mesema: the Mage’s Tower is cracked; the last mage, sent to find a mysterious pattern-worker in the desert, has vanished; and Sarmin believes his kidnapped brother Daveed still has a part to play. The walls are crumbling around them . . .
‘The Tower Broken’ is the last book in the Tower and Knife trilogy and is hands down the best book of the three. I have to admit that the first book didn’t really resonate with me. The second book was much, much better although the story did get a bit complex now and again. But if you keep a clear head while reading, it is a very enjoyable read. ‘The Tower Broken’ is even better than ‘Knife-Sworn’, it reads fluently and though the story never loses its complexity, I had an easier time following it this time. I think the Tower and Knife trilogy is a wonderful example of how an author can grow, because Mazarkis Williams surely has risen to a much higher level since ‘The Emperor’s Knife’. She keeps writing with beautiful prose and has intriguing ideas, but the way the book comes together has improved every time a new part of the trilogy came out, with ‘The Tower Broken’ hitting all the right spots.
Mazarkis Williams has a real talent for writing characters and in this book she demonstrated that again. I have enjoyed watching Sarmin grow from the boy locked away in his tower to the strong emperor with the golden heart he is today. I think seeing this character flourish is one of the strongest points in this trilogy. Sarmin is a character you can’t help but love. He has faced so much and has gone through the worst ordeals, but he comes out of it so much stronger than before.
Sarmin’s relationship with Mesema is another example of extremely enjoyable character interaction. Their relationship feels very real and is easy to get in to. They complement each other and the bond they formed beating the pattern master in the previous books really shines through.
Grada is another character that contributes a lot to the story. Though she is mostly in the background and doing what she does best without further explanation, as a reader I could really feel the warmth Sarmin feels for her and how he really needs her by his side.
There are also some new characters introduced in this final book of the trilogy. One of them is Farid, a fruitseller who gets kidnapped by the Mogyrk because he could see the pattern that had ravaged the marketplace where he was selling his fruit. And just like that he gets thrown in the middle of the political/religious war that’s been raging between the Cerani and the Mogyrk. It was really great to see the story through his eyes. He is quite new to all this and Williams portrays him with just the right amount of clumsiness and bewilderment when it comes to dealing with the Tower Mages and the people from the palace. He also has a very strong personality and I really enjoyed reading his struggles and the paths he chooses.
The second new character is Duke Didryk, a Mogyrk Duke that remains a bit of mystery for the first part of the book. It takes a long time before you know which side he’s on and what his plans are, which made him a very intriguing character and a solid addition to the set of POV characters William used in this book.
The story itself was full of suspense and mystery. The wounds of the Mogyrk God are spreading their nothingness and it creeping closer to Nooria with the minute. If that isn’t enough to get you on the edge of your seat, Yrkmir has sent their army and Mogyrk Austeres to Nooria to invade them. From within they are also threatened by Austere Adam who wants to convert the whole of Cerani to the Mogyrk faith and has been setting up rebellion’s throughout the city. Needless to say there is enough going on in this book to keep you glued to the pages, the outcome uncertain until the very end.
Writing an end to a trilogy or series is always a bit tricky. You have to find the right way to wrap up the story and leave the readers satisfied. I can honestly say that Williams did a wonderful job. I liked the way Sarmin’s story ended and how everything was resolved in the end. I wasn’t disappointed about any decision Williams made and it left me with a feeling of fulfillment and completeness. I wouldn’t mind another story in Sarmin’s world, but this story is successfully finished in my opinion.
I’m looking forward to what Mazarkis Williams will come up with next, because I’ve now seen her full potential in this book and she’s definitely part of my list of Fantasy authors to look out for.
If you’ve read ‘The Emperor’s Knife’ and ‘Knife-Sworn’ you’ll absolutely love ‘The Tower Broken’, of that I’m fairly sure. If you haven’t read the trilogy yet, you should definitely give it a go, even if the first book didn’t really sit well with you, like it did with me. Williams doesn’t disappoint and gives us a wonderful story throughout her three books. ‘The Tower Broken’ is definitely among the best books I’ve read this year!
Posted on December 4, 2013, in Mazarkis Williams and tagged Cerani, Jo Fletcher Books, Knife-Sworn, Mazarkis Williams, Mesema, Nooria, Pattern, Sarmin, The Emperor's Knife, The Tower Broken, Tower and Knife. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.