Book Review: Geomancer (The Well of Echoes 1) by Ian Irvine


I decided to re-read some old favourites. It’s comforting isn’t it, to revisit something that you loved in the past? This whole series also reminds me of someone, because I lent this series to that someone, and it is special to me, knowing that he read all 11 books and enjoyed them. We talked about them afterwards, laughing about certain scenes or phrases, enthusing about the ecological and philosophical themes. I miss those times, when we shared books, films, music. Sometimes I feel broken, unable to think, and reading helps take me away. I also think doing something you love helps fix you up a bit, glues the hole in my chest a little.

So, Geomancer. It is set two hundred years after the View from the Mirror quartet with a new cast of characters. Tiaan is a lonely crystal artisan, working in a manufactory that produces the controllers and clankers that transport troops and fight the enemy. For the world of Santhenar is very different from when we last saw it. Humans are at war with the lyrinx, intelligent, fearsome creatures from the void between the three worlds. Tiaan has everything that draws me to a character, she’s quietly determined, a hard-worker, but shy and doubtful of her own abilities and worth. She’s a character who I feel for, who I root for. She also makes many questionable choices along the way, sealing her own fate as an outcast. What I like the most about her is that through all the darkness and sadness in her life, she has hope, it is this hope, to reach a special someone on another world, that drives her throughout the book. I think we as the reader are more suspicious the whole time about this special someone—we are aware of Tiaan’s naivety, but that only makes it all the more thrilling to follow Tiaan’s journey.

I like the magic in this book, different to the View from the Mirror. The use of crystals to tap the power from the nodes is complex and well thought out. I like how Tiaan is discovering different fields as she uncovers a talent for geomancy.

I’d also forgotten that this book also deals with the development of several characters that become more important as the quartet develops, and indeed feature in the next quartet too. At this stage, Nish, Irisis and Flydd are often not particularly likeable. But their development as characters makes them more and more interesting.



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