#WritersReview: Weatherlord

A moon shines over mountains, forests and a large waterfall.

Weatherlord by Tracey Mathias

Book III of the Assalay Trilogy

Cover by Tim Mathias

247 pages in softback + map + bonus material

ebook available

myths and mountains complete a magical tale

Summary from author’s website

The endless rain has brought flood and famine to Assalay. Starving rats roam the streets of Freehaven, and huge flocks of hungry dragons are awake and on the move. And rebellion is stirring: the song that condemns the Lords of the Fellowship as traitors and murderers, and proclaims Gaia as rightful ruler of Assalay is known throughout the land, even in the closely-watched and tightly-controlled capital city. The Lords’ power has been shaken, but not broken, and they have a plan to restore it: the dramatic execution of a convicted traitor in the main Square of Freehaven.

But the boy, Vester, who is sent to die is not a traitor. He is an innocent substitute – and one with a secret that powerful men in the Fellowship would like to keep hidden. As the Fellowship’s plans unravel on a day of chaos and terror, the rebellion takes a new and unexpected turn. And Vester’s secret inspires Gaia with hope that the land can be healed and sends her, Leo, Tal and Rachel on a dark journey through the mountains to a final, fateful encounter that will change Assalay for ever. Volume three of The Assalay Trilogy. For readers of 11+

(You can read an extract on Tracey’s website.)

A Reader’s perspective:

I have to be honest: I am proud to call Tracey Mathias my friend, and that’s why I have reviewed a self-published book against my usual rule. I like to think I’d treat authors unknown to me with the same courtesy, though. I don’t do hatchet jobs on anything: either I don’t review, or keep to those aspects I can endorse.

I have been wanting to read Weatherlord for quite some while. I read A Fragment of Moonswood early on, and then The Singing War. Then came an entirely understandable hiatus as Tracey wrote her contemporary YA masterpiece Night of the Party.

{If by any accident you don’t know her thrilling post-Brexit romance, well, it’s completely different from any of The Assalay Trilogy. Not just for older readers, but edgy and in a modern setting devoid of dragons. If myth and magic and music are your thing, then maybe that one won’t be.}

Back to Assalay. In this, the concluding story, there’s horrible peril, moments of great beauty and plenty of intrigue – as you would expect from the previous books. The plot fairly flies along and there are twists and turns like a cliff path. There’s something of Peter Jackson’s style in the mountain scenes – but with adelightful echo of Snowdonia. If you love lakes and waterfalls (with a touch of neo-Georgian steampunk)  as much as I do, you’ll be in for a treat.

The end of the whole trilogy is suitably poignant yet upbeat. With Tracey Mathias’s customary lyricism, it’s a beautiful, gently triumphant conclusion.

Portrait of the author Tracey Mathias

Comments from a Writer and Editor: Notable aspects

  • Vol I: 254 pages, Vol II: 254 pages, Vol III: 247 pages – astonishing and pleasing to have a final volume of fantasy that isn’t huge and unwieldy.
  • How was this done? By following only a few significant characters and concluding their stories well.
  • What about the others? There’s room left for fanfic or bonus material, and much can be predicted by the reader from previous worldbuilding.
  • Development as a writer – the knock-on effect of writing and editing a taut thriller shows in the pace of this conclusion.
  • Possible spoiler: the ending is not obvious, naively optimistic or miserablist. It takes another path which resonates with dilemmas in our own world.

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