Trial of the Wizard King by Chad Corrie is the second book in the Wizard King series. I am reading the first two books back-to-back which is a privilege I have rarely enjoyed of the past 10+ years of writing book reviews. After the Created Series which I read in order, I am finding I really enjoy being able to read series again. Also, additional good news, the third book in this trilogy is out on the last day of this month, so I will almost be reading them one after another.
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Stars: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths
The novel takes off where the first one ended. The group of adventurers is split apart as the female mage, Cadrissa, is still imprisoned by the evil Lich, Cadrith, who is the primary adversary for the series. The beginning of the novel focuses on introducing new complications and characters both evil and good. It also reviews the comings and goings of the greater gods. Very reminiscent of ancient Greek literature, the gods play a heavy part in the path men tread and are behind many of the schemes and plots which affect the main characters in this novel.
The novel splits into two threads. The first being the gods and heroes who realize the lich is seeking to reinvent the known world and become a God. The second thread consists of the more mundane goals most of the adventuring band wishes to pursue. Yet soon the threads of both more gods and mortals draw them closer and closer together to thwart the lich they released.
I have to say the beginning of this story moved a bit slow for me. After enjoying so many of the characters in the first novel, I was anxious to see how they would fare after they completed their first adventure. Yet instead, we spent the first 100 pages of the novel delving into new characters, new gods, and almost everything other than focusing on the characters I had already enjoyed learning about. My favorite character, Dugan, only had a two-page appearance from another’s POV within the first 100 pages. I appreciate a story with many characters and building up for an epic conclusion, however, I feel that some of the characters such as the dragon master, who did little to help or hinder the characters, perhaps could have been deleted so we could get to the rest of the tale a bit faster. The budding relationship between the human knight and the elven ranger seemed a bit awkward as well. I am not sure why they were attracted to each other aside from proximity, and given the humans terse reactions I’m not sure how the elfish woman could stand him. We must assume, despite his racism and annoying behavior. she found something else there.
Once the story picked up, it was more like the first novel, and I enjoyed seeing the interactions and the characters joining forces. Again, this novel delivered. Lovers of swords and sorcery and especially players of Dungeons and Dragons will get quite a thrill out of this series, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy role playing. If you have ever been a character who had to go up against the lich in a game, I think you will really appreciate the tension the author builds as they hunt down this near unstoppable enemy
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and even with the first third being a little slow, it ended with excitement and glory for the characters but perhaps their death as well. For the second novel ended with a cliffhanger and a half. I look forward to buying the third novel in the series. Hell, I might even preorder it.