Wednesday, September 19, 2012

DUAL REVIEW: The Last Page & Black Bottle by Anthony Huso

In this two book series Anthony Huso introduces us to a fantasy world rich of magic and obsesson. Anthony is a great talent, yet I strugulled with some aspects of the books.
I was really excited by the concept of this book. From the opening pages I knew Caliph Howl wasn't a typical protagonist. We meet Caliph as he is plotting revenge on a fellow student. The plot is the result of a long simmering anger towards the one responsible for a school prank.
Being caught in the act by a fellow student Sena, Caliph makes the decision to date her, hopeing to stop her from reporting his actions. What Caliph doesn't know is that this action is a gift to Sena who has been working on her own plot, to open the Cisrym Ta.
This text is deeply powerful and requires the sacrifice of blood to be opened. Caliph's blood.
There are a lot of concepts for the reader to grasp: politics, loyalties, languages and magic. I was grateful to have an e-book version of this book it made it so much easier to read the footnotes! The key to this book though is Caliph and Sena. Take all the other elements away and you get to see Huso guide us through the hearts and emotions of two characters with personal dreams often clouded by familial responsibilities.
The Black Bottle is epic in scale but at it's heart again it is the dynamic of Sena and Caliph. Sena has been granted her ultimate wish she has opened the book and cost Caliph his life. Only to bring him back. Now the news of the High King' s return spreads across the world and great power attracts those want to steal it.
On the political landscape all eyes turn to Stonehold and Caliph now has to worry about others who aim to wrest control of his kingdom. Then their is Sena and her strange behaviors. Has she gone mad from claiming the power of the book? Or is she only trying to deflect attention from a dark spirit that has become free from the book.
The stakes are much higher in this book, and it was interesting to see Calip's development as a character. 
Overall with this series there have been a lot of concepts that were quite esoteric but at the heart it is all about Sena and Caliph. These books are to be savored and slowly explored. There are many riches to be found here for fantasy lovers. 

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