Title: The Consumption of Magic (Tales From Verania #3)
Author: TJ Klune and Michael Lesley (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 30th 2018
Genre(s): High Fantasy
Length: 18 hrs and 18 mins
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse.
It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be.
Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania.
With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits—the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tiggy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin—must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future.
A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.
As the series progresses there is a distinct darkening around the edges. The effect is that the humour is not quite as widespread or developed and more serious themes come to the fore. This change is managed carefully, but there is a sense of loss of innocence and play affecting all of the characters. The characters do not necessarily gain in depth but there are changes in the relationships throughout the book. It remains an easy and enjoyable read with clearly identifiable characters. New locations are introduced, but as with earlier books, these serve to support the plotlines rather than any intrinsic value.
The narrator enriches the story with clearly identifiable characterisation. There is a clear sense that he feels for the characters and genuinely is interested in the presentation. The occasional sound effects also add to the enjoyment of the story.
As with the reduction in humour so too there is less sex in this book. This reflects the changing interactions with the characters and as such is in keeping with the story. Nevertheless, there is a growing consolidation of relationships that seem to outlast minor quibbles. There remain a number of characters whose emotional role is one of supportive care and this reinforces the bonds that hold this group together.
The pace remains comfortable as the lead character faces problem after problem. What is noticeable is that this is beginning to wear on the characters and so tension starts to rise.
The presentation of the narration is very effective with a pace that modulates with the plot. The voice is clearly understandable throughout, regardless of accents and sound effects used.
The story ends with a number of quite dramatic events that are very different in tone compared to what has gone before. The key building blocks of the story are now well established and the reader primed for what is likely to be a different type of book. It is to be hoped that the innocence is not totally lost.
The audiobook version adds a different and yet positive experience of the story and is recommended.