EXCERPT from THE LAST ENCHANTER
Marcus waited until he heard Zyll turn the lock in his door before heading back down the corridor. Zyll had told him to do what he thought was best, and that’s exactly what he would do.
He passed several armed sentries, one at every door, as he made his way through the lower level of the Fortress. Kelvin was determined not to let the Agoran rebels get inside again. Maybe Marcus shouldn’t worry about his brother. With all these guards around, Kelvin was far safer than Fredric must have been. Still, he deserved to know how their grandfather died. Secrets had nearly destroyed Marcus and Kelvin’s relationship during their quest eight months ago. There would be no secrets between them ever again.
Marcus didn’t want to go back to the dining room. Kelvin and Jayson were probably still arguing over dinner, and what Marcus had to say was private anyway. He would go instead to Kelvin’s council chambers and wait for him there.
Other than the sentries, the interior of the Fortress was quiet. Most of the servants had already retired to their rooms for the night. Marcus hurried across the vast entry hall toward the east alcove where the offices were located. He had made it halfway when he suddenly had the feeling that he was not alone. He turned and looked behind him, but there was no one beside the guard standing at the Fortress’s main door. The light from several oil lamps left the corners of the room hidden in darkness. Someone could easily conceal himself in one.
This is silly, Marcus thought. I’m letting my mind play tricks on me. Still, he walked the rest of the way as fast as he could without actually running.
The door to Kelvin’s council chambers stood just inside a narrow alcove. To Marcus’s surprise, the sconces on the wall were not lit. The alcove was dark except for a weak glow from the lanterns in the great hall. He had expected to find a guard here, too, but the alcove was empty—or was it?
Near the door to Kelvin’s chambers Marcus saw a large, dark clump of something on the floor. He approached cautiously and touched it with his foot. An arm fell forward, hitting the floor with a dull thump. Marcus stepped back, his breath quickening. The dark clump was a sentry. In the dim light, Marcus couldn’t tell if he was unconscious or dead.
Behind him, Marcus heard the sound of footsteps which stopped abruptly.
“Hello?” Marcus called out hoping it was one of the other guards. “There’s a man here,” he said. “I think he’s hurt!”
When no one replied, Marcus realized once again that his imagination was running away with him. But he did need to find help for the sentry. He was about to leave when he heard a new sound coming from inside the chambers: an unmistakable rattle as if something had fallen and rolled across the floor.
Marcus stepped over the guard’s body and took hold of the door handle. Slowly he turned it, pushing open the door just an inch. Candlelight spilled through the narrow crack into the alcove. Marcus saw now that the sentry’s eyes were open, staring dully up at nothing. He was most certainly dead. And Marcus suspected that whoever was inside the room had done it.
Pushing the door open a little further, Marcus stepped inside. Large tapestries hung floor to ceiling against the walls. Three stories above, the stained glass ceiling looked like a patchwork of black and gray. Charred remains of a log stood cold in the fireplace, though six candles burned in an ornate candelabra beside Kelvin’s desk. On the floor lay an ink bottle, dark liquid trailing from it like a tail. This must be what had made the noise. Marcus bent to pick it up. The glass bottle felt warm to the touch.
The air in the room was chill. So why would the bottle be so warm? Someone must have been holding it, Marcus thought, but who?
As he set the bottle back on the desk, he noticed movement from the corner of his eye. A tapestry fluttered ever so slightly. Marcus’s heart raced. He reached for his knife, but then remembered he had left it in his room for he had thought he was just going to talk to Kelvin. What would he have needed it for? He reached for the tapestry with trembling fingers and jerked it aside, but the only thing behind it was a bare wall.
All of sudden, something heavy hit him from behind. Sharp pain exploded across his shoulders, and Marcus’s face smashed into the wall. He felt drops of hot blood trickle onto his lips. Licking them, he tasted copper, and he wondered if the loud crack he’d heard had been his back breaking or something else. He turned and saw Kelvin’s chair in pieces behind him on the floor. Someone had thrown it at him! He had only a second to think before something else came flying at him, but this time it was a man.
The man yelled. Marcus caught the glint of a blade in his hand just before it came down on him. Marcus twisted away just in time, the blade grating instead against the stone wall. But the man did not stop. He sliced his dagger wildly in every direction. Marcus jumped and slid his way across the room, doing his best avoid the attacks. The man was slender, almost frail-looking, and yet was surprisingly fast and strong. He lunged at Marcus, not with the dagger, but with a set of blood-stained claws extended for the kill. It wasn’t a man at all, Marcus realized. It was an Agoran.
Marcus grabbed the candelabrum. As he swung it in an arc, the candles flew off. Two went out as they hit the floor, but the other four stilled burned, casting long, unnatural shadows onto the tapestries. One lit the corner of a tapestry on fire, the flames soon licking the woven patterns like a hungry snake. The candelabrum hit the attacker with a force that would have knocked most men to their knees, but this one didn’t even flinch. When the Agoran took hold of it, Marcus expected him to yank it out of his hands. Instead he thrust it forward, pushing Marcus off balance. He fell onto his back, sending a fresh tremor of pain through him. A second later, the attacker was on top of Marcus, holding the point of a blade to his throat. Damp tendrils of long, shaggy hair clung to his face. His pupils, narrow like a cat’s, peered at Marcus, recognition slowly dawning. The Agoran and Marcus stared at each other, both remembering the day months earlier when they had first met.
Just then the door to the chamber flew open. A guard rushed in, his sword raised. Behind him came Kelvin and Jayson. The Agoran leapt off of Marcus and crossed the room in half a breath’s time. The guard ran after him, but the Agoran tore the burning tapestry free from the wall and flung it at him. The guard screamed in pain as fire engulfed his uniform. The tapestry dropped to the floor, the flames trapping the Agoran at the back of the room. Marcus managed to roll clear of it, though he felt his skin blistering with the heat and smelled the guard’s scorched flesh.
Jayson ripped the burning fabric from the guard’s body as Kelvin picked up his fallen sword. Kelvin slashed at the tapestry, trying to make a path through the fire. As he broke through, Marcus looked up to see what would happen next, but to his and everyone’s surprise, the Agoran was gone.
Months have passed since Marcus and Kelvin succeeded in their quest to find the Rock of Ivanore. Kelvin is living as royalty in Dokur, and Marcus is studying magic with Zyll. When Fredric is murdered and Kelvin becomes king, Zyll and Marcus head for Dokur in hopes of protecting Kelvin from meeting the same fate, though it quickly becomes apparent that none of them are safe, and Marcus has had disturbing visions of Zyll's death. With the help of his old friends Clovis and Bryn, joined by new friend Lael, a feisty girl in search of her mother, Marcus uncovers a powerful secret that will change the course of his life forever.First Sentence:
Fredric, ruler of Dokur, stared out his window toward the sea.Even though I did not have the chance to get my hands on The Rock of Ivanore prior to reading the Last Enchanter the story and plot line made perfect sense.
Just thinking over The Last Enchanter has me excited all over again! I have not been this excited over a new fantasy book since Shadow and Bone...
For my first time reading one of Laurisa White Reyes' books, I must say that I am pretty impressed. When The Last Enchanter came in I read the first page, which is my custom with new books. A few minutes later I realized that I had been so swept up into the world and characters that I was already a third of the way down with it.
So, not only was the writing good enough to make me temporarily abandon the other book I'd been reading, the entire book was a needed refresher since some of the recent books I've read have been duds.
Fantasy book wise, this is a pretty fast paced read. Even though Marcus and company ended up journeying twice in the book, you don't feel the lag the usually comes when fantasy characters hit the road. It also has just the right mixture of action, adventure and mystery to entice even the most reluctant reader and take them on a grand adventure.
Character-wise: I really enjoyed how imperfect each of the characters were and how they each had these quirks that made them unique. But, while I enjoyed their individuality what really made them stick out was growth shown throughout the book. I really liked seeing the way they matured, as well, as the fact that they still have room to continue changing as the series progresses.
Story-wise I can find no fault with The Last Enchanter because the author did such a great job of creating a world, characters, and story line that draws the reader in. So, I'm just going to skip right on down to what I enjoyed the most about Laurisa White Reyes' book.
For me, the relationship between Marcus and Zyll, as well, as the relationships between Marcus and friends, is one of the best things about this book. I seriously enjoyed seeing how must of them were willing to drop what they were doing to help out. Even if that meant being mistreated by a certain scoundrel within the palace. The final reason I loved the characters so much in this book is because the author did an excellent job of showing the struggles that they faced and how they came together to face things.
Final Verdict: The Last Enchanter- a rich fantasy with excellent characters.
The Last Enchanter earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.