One of the benefits of diving into a series, especially an epic fantasy (and sci-fi) series, is that I get to see all the character and story arcs and connect all the dots into the larger picture. The third book in Kelly Blanchard’s Chronicles of Lorrek, I’m Still Alive, ends one story arc and dives into another, with all the usual magic and mayhem that you expect from these books.
1. Thoughts on the plot
This book takes place one year after the end of the last book, following Lorrek and Vixen as they try to stop Princess Mordora, who has unwittingly been targeted by an ancient artefact. They are trying to undo the damage that she has done, while also uncovering secrets of an ancient past, and dealing with everyone else who gets pulled into the situation.
This plot starts pulling in a lot of threads from the distant past, which undergirds the rest of the series. The threads become more intricate, drawing on things from the previous books as well as introducing world lore in such a way that familiar characters reveal a great deal more than we knew. As always with these books, the plot is very detailed and pulls the reader in a lot of different directions, all of which end with one of those dramatic gasps as we get to the finale.
2. Thoughts on the characters
Most of the characters in this book are familiar, so much of the development is merely to do with learning more about them and how they interact with the world. Included in this development is the introduction of events that happened some many generations ago, which set of a series of chain reactions that won’t be fully realised until much later in the series. Which was quite clever, but also frustrating for the reader—at least for me, as I am one of those, “I want to know all the stuff now!” types. Ah, c’est la vie.
3. Favourite part
That snarky bit at the end, where Lorrek is thumbing his nose at….sorry, spoilers. 😉
My only real critique for this book is one of those annoying, nitpicky things that us reviewers pull upon when we can’t find anything else to critique; I would have liked a little evidence of some of these dramatic past events to appear in the first two books, if only to hint at what was to come. It’s really not necessary, since we learn all that we need as the series progresses, but it’s possible that I’ve read too many mysteries in my life and like books to have clues as to future events. Only really a problem if you grew up with a mystery book in hand before you leaped into the fantasy genre. So…not really relevant to the book at all.
Overall, I would say that I’m Still Alive is a great third book to a great series, starting off on more story arcs and bringing in a lot of details that really make these books worth reading.