It has been a bit of time since one of my favourite authors wrote about a certain sorceress named Ceri and a certain succubus named Lily. Quite recently Niall Teasdale returned to the Thaumatology universe after spending some time in outer space, and as an aside I recommend that series as highly as I do the one I hold so very dear.
I have reviewed all of the works in the Thaumatology series and you can find the last review I did in March 2013 here which also has links to my other reviews on the Tale. They have always been tales that centre on one very important point. It really does matter who your friends are and, as well, it matters that you do right by them.
It’s always good to see old friends return, to see what has happened to them since they were last seen and to discoverer what their story has to tell in the here and now. With Vengeance, it’s quite clear that things are changing not just for Ceri and Lily, but for the worlds they inhabit as well. Sometimes change can be a terrible thing. Sometimes it can be the answer to questions you didn’t know you had.
And sometimes, just sometimes, change just means finding out exactly who you matter to and who matters to you in return…
- Title: Vengeance
- Author: Niall Teasdale
- Length: 155 Pages
- ISBN: 9781310417474
- ASIN: B00MRWB986
- Publishing Date: August 15, 2014
- This work at Smashwords.com
- This work at Amazon.com
- The Thaumatology Blog
It tells the story of:
Ceridwyn Brent has been through a lot in the past few years. She’s been kidnapped, assaulted, brainwashed, used to summon an army across dimensions, walked across an alien world to rescue her lover, and had to embody an ancient war goddess to save a world… A bit of normality would seem in order.
But when you’re the most powerful sorceress on the planet, even if very few people know that, and one of the best magical theoreticians in the world, and you have an entire demonic realm to run, normal is not the same as it is for everyone else.
Life never seems to quite go too easy for Ceri and Lily. The days of innocence seem to be drawing to a close and with them a decision that Ceri is faced with that will change her life in ways she never could have imagined. The question is, what is the price that they have to pay, and what does that mean to the universes they have touched together?
Sometimes it isn’t easy for an author to return to a series after a time away. It’s a concern that the characters might not quite be the same as they were. That something isn’t right. That there’s a part of things that isn’t there any more. With this work, the series picks up in a place that fits well with the previous work, the characters are exactly as they were before, but while that is clearly there, events continue to shape them and in turn they shape the world around them. The time between the last and this work really just vanishes in the first few pages as the little quirks that Ceri and Lily have come out once more. How those around them act and react in ways that are right for all we know about them.
There are changes of course, there are new challenges for them all to face, there are questions to be answered, plots to unravel, and worlds to explore. The tapestry that is this universe comes into sharper focus as some of the mysteries that have been drifting through the series to this point are answered and in a way that makes sense and fits into what has come before. Things also become a lot more complicated by far and it is an ongoing question as to how the world deals with Ceri and how she deals with it in return, but in spite of some difficult things to overcome, Ceri doesn’t shed her nature, her drive, and most importantly, those that she knows to be her friends draw closer and become more.
With the closure of a few plots there is also the beginnings of what will be, I am sure, some very interesting times for Ceri and Lily in the future. The introduction of several new characters and the mentioning, and appearance, of others from the past is done well and as such they aren’t a distraction from the work. They are setting the stage for the stories to come.
There are moments when Ceri questions herself, but with them also comes a strength she finds from those around her. She isn’t quite the same Ceri as she was, and considering what has happened to her and Lily in the series recently, that isn’t a surprise. The same is true of Lily, in that she becomes more in this work, the intelligence behind the smile shines brightly and that really was fun to see. Really all of the characters that I have come to know and love are sharper, better, and more clearly shown in their strengths, but also with their failings, the things that haunt them, and the things that they deal with.
In this part of the series, Ceri changes the worlds. In doing so she comes up against those that fear her, loathe her, and would do almost anything to stop her. But as well she finds out, very clearly, that what she has done to this point in her life matters and it matters to more people than she really ever realized. Ceri has power, there is no doubt, but that in itself doesn’t make her who she is. It’s only a small part of her and within this work that comes out clearly. Discovering that within herself is important and it matters.
The work closes on a bit of a cliffhanger, but it isn’t one that left me troubled. It was one that left me wondering what the future holds, what happens next, and what it all means. Which really is exactly where Ceri and Lily wind up as well. Their world has changed, there is no turning back and where they go from here, who and what comes next will be amazing…
I’ll give this work four and a half out of five pitchforks.
The tone is right, the characters are right, the world is right. Like slipping into a comfortable pair of slippers, the pleasure in seeing all that I love about this series come to light once more made me so very happy. I really do hope that the next part of Ceri and Lily’s story isn’t too far away…
As always, I’ll be watching and waiting… If a bit impatiently…