Dec 07 2012

A Review of Ancient by Niall Teasdale

Time for a review of the tenth book in the Thaumatology series by Niall Teasdale, Ancient. Yes, I know it is billed as the eighth book but I am counting the anthologies as well in my counting… I reviewed the first book,  Thaumatology 101, here. The second, Demon’s Moon was reviewed here. The third book in the series, Legacy, that review is here. The first collection of short stories from this universe called Tales from High Towers’ Study is here.  The fourth book in the series, Dragon’s Blood is reviewed here. And the review of the fifth book in the series, Disturbia is reviewed here. The second collection of short stories, Tales from the Dubh Linn, was reviewed here. And the eighth book in this series Hammer of Witches was reviewed here. And, you can find the review on the Tale for the ninth book called Eagle’s Shadow here as well.

Ancient by Niall Teasdale

Ancient by Niall Teasdale

This, the tenth book in the series, touches on a theme that really does make me ponder about the series universe as a whole and where it is going from here…

Ceridwyn Brent has invented a way of creating an artificial ley line and is planning to use it to generate free, clean electricity. To do that, however, she needs to start the line in an area of high magical energy and in Europe that means the German Rift. At the end of World War II, a series of huge explosions in German cities cracked open the world, letting demons and fae run rampant, and that rift line is still a huge area of high magic. So, Ceri and her friend, Lily Carpenter, must walk into what is left of Hamburg to initiate the ley line.

Something is wrong in the ruins of Hamburg, however. Sensitives are having strange dreams of some old evil rising from underground and the shadows seem to move on their own. Something bad has woken up and it seems to be fascinated by Ceri. It also has far more extreme motives and, when it follows Ceri and Lily back to London, blood and chaos are not far behind.

There is an underlying theme in this work that revolves around the question of, what frightens you the most? There are some very specific things that Ceri sees in this story that tell a great deal about her. Some of which, if you have been paying attention to the series are quite obvious, but there are some that are much less so which was interesting. More so, the being that Ceri and her friends face reflects and in a way, lives for the application of those fears to gain more power for itself.

The thing of that is, while that threat is faced, the world around Ceri begins to come apart at the seams. It reminded me a lot of the 1950s in America where there was a Communist around every corner and everyone was a spy. The sheer level of paranoia that builds up and around Ceri is really something to see.

What makes that worse is that there are strings being pulled and in that larger questions remain at the end of the work that will, I am quite sure, return again in the series. I am expecting that the question of “who do you trust?” will be an ongoing theme from here till that mystery is solved fully…

I rather liked Ceri and Lily’s comment at one point in the story about how they seem to always be involved in the worst possible situations over and over again… It made me pause and wonder, quite seriously, what it would be like for them to have absolutely nothing of consequence happen at some point in the series… It would never happen of course, but the thought itself was amusing to me at least…

I think this particular story is the most fast paced of the series in that you are taking from place to place and event to event without having a lot of time to reflect on what just happened. In a way that is telling in what Lily and Ceri go through, and that was a nice touch to the telling as well.

At one point Ceri confronts an angel in her home, and, to be honest, I thought that it was the funniest thing I have ever read. The angel is someone that I do hope we see again really as they have quite a lot of personality and would be a pleasure to see return once more. Reflecting against that, the glimpses of the underground of the vampires, the inter workings of the military and government, the inherent fears in them all and the events, mainly bad ones for several characters in the story, are driving forces to the story. It is a shame that in all of that a stupid mistake takes one of them away forever…

There is of course tension in this work from the main story, but as well, there is a bit of tension in Ceri discovering her nature as a Domme and that nature coming out in force as the story progresses. I have to say that I understand that Ceri is changing, has changed and will change further… I am perhaps a bit saddened by the loss of the innocent Ceri for the more worldly one that we see now.

Ceri has grown in her own skin in more than one way as has Lily. There is a bit more known about Twill which was nice and the relationships with Michael, Ceri’s werewolf mate were wonderful to see. He really does come into his own in this story and it is nice to see that he does.

While all of the characters I have come to enjoy appear, the thing that I discovered was that they all have something bothering them and that in a way is Ceri herself. The question is, what happens when she finally becomes who or what she seems to be transforming into. There isn’t a lot physically that happens in this book, but, mentally and emotionally, as I have said before, she has changed…

What that amounts to will be something I will be looking forward to seeing in the future…

Wonderfully told as always, Niall didn’t disappoint and so another five pitchforks of course…

Now, I have to admit that I really was delayed more than I really should have been to review this book, but on the upside, this weekend the next book in the series Dragonfall is being released and in two weeks, the following work titled The Other Side of Hell arrives…

It’s going to be the most wonderful time of the year… Promise.




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  1. avatar

    It sounds as if Ceri and Lily asre experiencing both the benefits and the challenges of life happening, with all the attendant losses and maybe even joys. It is a very good writer who can sustain that kind of reality over so many books.

  2. avatar

    This sounds like an interesting series…I’ll have to put it on my To Read Later list. Haha..

  3. avatar

    I have been so waiting for this review! I always love your reviews. Thank you for the comments (and thank you James). Aside from anything else, I’m always glad to see that someone other than me is picking up the hints.

    Dragonfall is, indeed, out tomorrow, and you’ll be getting an answer to a lot of those questions. (Please just don’t kill me when you get them.)

  4. avatar

    Sorry it took so long Niall…


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