Sunday, October 25, 2009

Isle of Fire: A Review

"Isle of Fire" picks up shortly after the conclusion of its predecessor, Isle of Swords. Cat is staying with the Brethren Monks, training with them while trying to regain his memories of his past life. But he isn't all that certain that his past is something he wants to remember.

Meanwhile, Captain Declan Ross and his daughter Anne sail the sea recruiting pirates for his "Wolf Pack," a group of former pirates paid by the British Government and the Brethren to hunt down other pirates. Villains, new and old, make their appearance quickly as well. Some are brutal and heartless, consumed by their desire for revenge; others are more subtle, content to wait until the proper moment to strike.

Wayne Thomas Batson paints a broad, sweeping tale that spans the Atlantic Ocean in this tale of treachery, truth, and tempests. Things are not always what they seem--even chapter titles can be deceiving. One rarely sees the newest--and cruelest--villain, The Merchant, but his influence is felt nonetheless.

As in Batson's other books, some of the secondary characters are so much "larger than life" as to feel almost caricatures of reality and yet they seem perfectly real at the same time. However, the main characters internal dilemmas are as clear and real as their external ones.

Overall, I preferred Isle of Fire to Isle of Swords. There were fewer extreme characters--or perhaps I just knew the characters better and so they felt more real--and the story is less obvious. One knows the good guys have to win, but how is very much uncertain. Also, I liked the fact that Declan, Anne, Cat, and the others, aren't searching for treasure but rather truth. And they all find Truth and therefore, true treasure.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys adventures on the high seas. But make sure you read "Isle of Swords" first!

By: Wayne Thomas Batson

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