If you’ve read my reviews of the previous entries in TC Marti’s Elementals of Nordica series, Wind Wielder and Wind Master, then you can assume that the ending to this first trilogy, Wind Keeper (part of a wider Elementals Universe), brings with it an action packed science fantasy story. That assumption would indeed be correct. However, you may not assume Wind Keeper brings a lot of heart to it, yet it does so in spades.
At its core, though, Wind Keeper (full title, Wind Keeper: Elementals of Nordica: Book III) is still the action story that the first two are, and Marti, once again, writes some beautifully elaborate action set pieces. The battles here exceed both previous books: they are big, bloody, and brutal. Throughout the series, this author has failed to disappoint with these set pieces, and here, he once again ups the ante above and beyond what the reader has seen before. He has a wonderful talent for writing action, with it moving quickly enough to keep the pace, while also giving enough detail to feel you’re right there, amongst the action.
This action comes with a great infusion of science fiction and fantasy elements. After three books, the world that Marti created is now well-worn, but throughout Wind Keeper, he has managed to continue building upon it. The result is a world that keeps getting more interesting as these books progress, and the end result is fleshed out brilliantly.
At 260 pages in paperback (or, if you’re reading on Kindle, an estimated 276 swipes), Wind Keeper is the shortest entry of the trilogy. While this isn’t a huge reduction on the pages (nine less printed pages than Wind Master, which itself was sixteen printed pages shorter than Wind Keeper), I found it the quickest book to read by a wider margin than those differences would suggest. I chalk this up to the prose, which felt cleaner and tighter than its predecessors. As lean as this page count is, a lot happens within the story, and at no point does it feel like it’s underwritten: instead, it is simply easily digestible, a book to sit down, read and enjoy, without it overstaying its welcome.
Much like Wind Master before it, Wind Keeper drops the reader right into the story. While this assists with the tight storytelling Marti has undertaken here, it does mean the story doesn’t spend time getting the reader caught up on previous events. Wind Keeper is not a standalone story, nor does it pretend to be: it is the third volume of a trilogy, and the expectation is that the reader has read these books. If, upon reading this review, Wind Keeper interests you, fear not: these first two entries are excellent books in their own right, and you will be rewarded for reading all three of them.
In my previous reviews, I noted that the quieter moments in the first two books didn’t shine as brightly as the action, to varying degrees. This is not an issue I had with Wind Keeper in the slightest. The quieter moments stand out in this book and make you feel for the characters, as well as pay off not just this book’s plot points, but the previous Elementals of Nordica‘s entries as well. It is in many of these moments that the book’s heart comes through. Marti’s judicious use of these, using the space so effectively, elevates Wind Keeper to above its predecessors. Where those are excellent, Wind Keeper is wonderful.
My reviews for the first two books also commented on the political commentary, which was present in both, but looking as though it could build to more. It did indeed build to more, and while this is not a book about politics, these do influence much of Wind Keeper’s plot. Marti’s commentary doesn’t dig deep, but its discussion about power, and its abuse, as well as characters assuming their way is best because, simply, it’s what they know, adds a wry extra layer to the story, giving the reader something to think about as the book moves forward.
Wind Keeper is a wonderful end to an excellent trilogy, closing this tale with its strongest entry. If you enjoy action tales, or stories with strong science fantasy trappings, I highly recommend it. The only caveat to this recommendation is that to get the most of this story and the crescendo it has built towards, is that you really need to have read Wind Keeper and Wind Master first. That they, themselves, are strong books, shouldn’t dissuade you. And with this being but the first trilogy in Marti’s Elementals Universe, it really is just the end of the beginning: I’m looking forward to seeing where he takes this world next.
Bile once again crept into her throat and she sprinted to the corner of the room, retching the final remains of yesterday’s breakfast. She collapsed onto the couch, the room spinning. Every time Shia’s face crept into her mind, it happened.Wind Keeper: Elementals of Nordica: Book III, Chapter Twenty-Five: “Revelations”
Wind Keeper: Elementals of Nordica: Book III was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review.
Wind Keeper is available in paperback and on Kindle, exclusive to Amazon).
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