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Pamela Freeman - The Castings Trilogy review
The Castings Trilogy
consists of the books Blood Ties
, Deep Water
, and Full Circle
. The tale takes place in a land known as the Eleven Domains. One-thousand years before the tale takes place, invaders led by a man named Acton took over the land. Now the original inhabitants, known as Travelers because very few own land and settle in one place, are second-class citizens at best. To the descendents of the invaders, Acton is a hero of near-mythical proportions. To the Travelers, he's a demon.
The characters are very interesting. First we meet Bramble. She's a rather spirited young woman of mixed heritage but is much more like the Travelers of her family. She despises Acton wholeheartedly. Next is Ash. He's a pureblooded Traveler. His parents are musicians, but Ash can't follow in his parent's footsteps because he has no talent for performing music and his singing voice is horrible. However, Ash has a talent of making up music, though it's rather forbidden to wtite down music, so it stays in his head. So he becomes a safeguarder - a type of bodyguard-for-hire. Finally we meet Saker. He's also a Traveler and a sorcerer. As child, he lived in one of the last villages of the Traveler folk. Saker wants revenge and goes throughout the lands raising a ghostly army and slaughtering Acton's people. There are plenty of minor characters as well and they're all fleshed out quite well. Characters that at first seem to be simple archetypes soon show they have a personality all their own.There's Martine, a stonecaster that befriends Ash; and Leof, an officer in the Warlord Thegan's army who recognizes something is wrong with the way Acton's people dominate the Travelers.
After some time, Bramble and Ash become central players in stopping Saker's army. To do so, they must raise Acton's ghost. Bramble needs to learn where Acton's bones lie and Ash needs to learn the forbidden song to raise the ghost. Along the way, Bramble learns that the legends she grew up with were not accurate and she must re-evaluate her beliefs.
The series examines some interesting themes such as racism, power, morality, and the way cultural beliefs affect the society. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if any of these got their proper treatment.
Overall, it's a good series. I wavered between givig each book a three or four. I ended up rounding down because the story didn't pull me in enough to make time everyday to read more.
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