‘The Wanderer’, by Paula Brandon is the final book in what is called ‘The Veiled Isles Trilogy. I hadn’t read the first two books in this series before picking up this copy. I am pleased to inform you that this book also performs well as a stand-alone novella. The plot is easy to follow and the characters are extremely well written. I would put this book in the Fantasy Fiction genre as it incorporates multiple species, a form of Magic seldom used in any other series, and a paranormal aspect with walking dead.
We start the book with a tale of Magnifico Aureste’s murder of Magnifico Vinz. Needless to say, this action leads to suspicion, fear and hatred of Aureste for the remainder of the book. Aureste is cleared of the charges and is said to have performed the act in self-defense. However Vinz’s 13 year old son, Vinzille, knows the truth of the matter. This serves to divide the group of Arcanists who have trekked far from home in hopes of cleaning the source of their powers. The group was set at six, now with the death of Vinz, they must continue as five.
While Aureste is travelling with his arcane brother, his daughter Jianna is having her own adventure in their home city of Vitrisi. She has joined the resistance against the Tarerleezi conquerors that have ruled over them. Jianna’s lover, Falaste, has been captured and falsely condemned for a murder he did not commit. He is held in “The Witch”, the impregnable, inescapable prison of the government. Jianna, along with other members of the resistance, join forces to break Falaste from his false imprisonment, but get captured at the gates after being recognized by Jianna’s estranged husband. Jianna confesses to the attempt and prays that her uncle Nalio saves her from her death sentence, but that goes unanswered. Jainna and Falaste are sentenced to death by way of the blood being drained from their bodies in front of a crowd of peasants.
With Tarerleezi ruling the lands, the amphibious species of Sishmindris have become a sub-class of citizen used as servants, and those that aren’t servants are condemned to live in guarded off areas of the city. They work together with the resistance trying to win their own freedom and return to their original home in the wetlands.
As Jiannas life is about to end, Aureste is giving his own life fighting off the Wanders (living dead) to save his brother. Aureste’s brother, Innesq and his five arcane companions are deep in a trance cleaning the Source of evil and the world of dirty magic of the Overmind, an evil entity bent on controlling the world.
When the Source is cleansed, a rush of wild winds, rain and lighting sweep the Isles for three solid days. During the first blasts of wind, Jianna and Falaste are blown free of the jail and their sentence of death.
Upon reaching their freedom they discover that the resistance has secured the government and with the devastation of the storms, the Tarerleezi have enough problems to worry about at home to try to control both lands at once.
I was slightly confused when I started this book, as I had not read the previous in the series, but everything was explained throughout the book so it was easy enough to follow. I wish I had read the first books in the trilogy and will make it point to do so sometime in the future. I would recommend anyone interested in Fantasy Fiction to read this book, but don’t make the same mistake I did. Start with the first, and I guarantee you will be enthralled in the depth of character and plot until you finish The Wanderer.