“Wizard of the Grove” by Tanya Huff is a two-volume book that has fun and intriguing elements, and even better for me, fantastical creatures such as dryads, centaurs, and wizards. There are sweeping political struggles, romance, betrayal, courage, and cowardice. In other words, the elements of a fantastic epic are present, but for me, the action is uneven and erratic, and no sooner had I gotten intrigued by the characters and events than the focus changed—or so it seemed to me. I generally adore the works written by this author, but this particular collection had so many things that were glossed over that I felt it was more like a series of short stories that were quickly woven together. There are wonderfully emotional interludes and tragic developments but I felt buffeted by the shifts and thought that the villain(s) were somewhat superficially portrayed. There are odd alliances in the second volume with a complicated and shifting set of relationships (both physical and metaphysical) that didn’t resonate with me although I did enjoy the phlegmatic giant, Sokoji, and the connection between the brothers. This is an entertaining read, but not one of my favorite from this talented author.
This fantasy duology is comprised of “Child of the Grove” and “The Last Wizard”. The battle that is being waged for final control of the lands relies on the concerted efforts of both humans and Elders and ultimately becomes a desperate gamble that requires supreme sacrifices. The need for a being of great power and knowledge has to be balanced by different priorities, as the humans have a very different idea of what’s important and time sense than those beings who are immortal or much more long-lived. The second volume gives a glimpse of the repercussions and remaining issues after the fateful battle between wizards, as the victor deals with both personal issues and remnants of a predecessor. There are puzzles and unexpected challenges and hidden dangers, plus conflicts that force change, whether it is wanted or not.
In the age of gods--dwarfs, centaurs, and other Elder Races roamed the lands freely, and the race of mortals was created as a mere plaything for Lord Death.
In the age of wizards--the power games of these immortal children of gods went too far, and so the dragons flew to bring wizards down in flames.
In the age of mortals--the Elder Races have withdrawn almost completely from the world of humans. But one wizard still survives, a master of evil bent upon domination. No mere mortal can stand against him, so the Elder Races have chosen to intervene one final time. Their gift is Crystal, the Child of the Grove, the last-born wizard who will ever walk the world. And thus the final battle is about to begin....