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The Way of Light (The Chronicles of Magravandias, Book 3) Paperback – January 4, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Full of vivid and complex storytelling, this richly imagined, humane novel concludes the saga of the Magravandian Empire that began with Sea Dragon Heir and The Crown of Silence. The old emperor's death gives shadowy religious and political cabals a chance to maneuver for power. At the same time, personal cravings and sexual desires agitate members of the empire's powerful families, while the rival dragon-gods who represent elements of nature contend through their human avatars. Valraven (aka Lord Palindrake), head of the family once allied with the sea dragons, must first decide whether he wants to become the True King; then he must prove that he is worthy. Valraven's wife, Varencienne, also finds her role changing in unpredictable ways. Readers uneasy about entering such an intricate tale so late, however, shouldn't hesitate. For one thing, the author has a gift for creating compelling characters, whose motives are far from straightforward. Situations that seem initially to be sword-and-sorcery cliches turn out to be anything but, as Valraven and company discover more layers of meaning in events and have to reinterpret their own actions. Magic here is neither simple nor safe but an effort to tinker with powers too big for human control. As Constantine makes abundantly clear, even people who wish to walk the path of light must wade through darkness, especially as they try to escape narrow preconceptions. For all its strife, this is an affirmative book. Agent, Robert Kirby.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

With the unexpected death of the Emperor Leonid, the Magravandian Empire descends into chaos and mayhem as warring factions seek control. Against this backdrop, the conquered heirs of Caradore struggle to survive and to wrest their ancient heritage from those who would lay claim to the power of the sea dragons. Constantine's conclusion to her trilogy (Sea Dragon Heir, The Crown of Silence) provides a satisfying wrap-up to a story of forbidden love, broken loyalties, and magic. Her sensual prose should appeal to fans of Tanith Lee and Terry Goodkind. A good addition, along with its series predecessors, to most fantasy collections.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Magravandias Chronicles (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (January 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312873670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312873677
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,993,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on May 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The third book in the Magravandias chronicles brings all the political and sexual intrigue to a resounding finale. When the emperor of Magravandias finally dies, his sons and other factions maneuver to be the one to inherit the throne. The emperor's daughter Varencienne does not side with her brothers, but instead with her husband Valraven Palindrake, the heir to the reawakening sea dragon's power. The emperor's widow Tatrini has plans of her own, and brings forth the other elemental powers, setting in motion more than any of the various players could have imagined. The wizard Taropat returns, but his loyalties are muddled, until he's forced to confront his own shadowed past and mistakes, just like his former friend Valraven must do. As Tatrini and her powerful sons chase the Palindrake clan and finally corner them at the site where the Palindrakes's power was first muted, the Palindrake children determine the outcome of the battle. Storm Constantine outshines herself in this final book in the trilogy with a delightful and mesmerizing blend of machinations, personal enlightenment, and sexualities. The dénouement is a bit rushed, but it doesn't detract from the massive scope Constantine presents for the reader. Instead it leaves the reader with a stunned sense of survival, just like the characters in the trilogy, and with a sense of satisfaction in being witness to the characters' various journeys through tragedies to peace.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Emera on August 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Magravandian emperor has finally died, and his legitimate heir, Gastern, ascends to the throne. However, the now-former empress Tatrini plots to place another of her sons on the throne by uniting the elemental powers, while the vengeful and obsessive mage Taropat, frightened by his visions of Dragon Heir Valraven becoming the True King, kidnaps Valraven's wife Varencienne and their daughter Ellony. In a consummation of the Chronicles of Magravandias, those who believe in Valraven and those who believe in the Malagash dynasty begin to draw together to decide the fate of the empire.

I was initially extremely wary of approaching the third Magravandias volume, because I simply could not entirely enjoy the first two, especially the overwrought spiritual nonsense of the second. However, I found The Way of Light an extremely exciting surprise - it's the final volume that makes the entire trilogy worth reading. Though Constantine's writing is still annoyingly choppy and often juvenile in feel, what she really shines at is creating intensely heated and painful inter-character relationships, and I felt that The Way of Light is a pinnacle in this area. She excels at bringing together her cast, with many characters finally accepting their roles and responsibilities. Varencienne's maturation and Taropat's loss of his bitterness and acceptance of his former identity as Khaster were particularly fulfilling to watch. What's more, Constantine, very realistically and painfully, does *not* resolve all of their raw and inconclusive relationships. Just like the ultimate path of the empire, they remain uncertain, and whether or not they are ever resolved depends on the reader's own interpretations and predictions.

Of course, it's a far from perfect book.
Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The Emperor Leonid's death causes a succession crisis that sends the Magravandias Empire on the verge of civil war as conflicting elements squabble over the throne. The Firemages have their own puppet they want to succeed Leonid. Others believe opening the WAY OF LIGHT will point to the truth. Desperate to avoid genocide, Dragon Lord Valraven Palindrake reluctantly supports Prince Gastern to ascend to the crown. His decision delays a war, but the rivalry remains hot and any stumble will turn the empire into a sea of red.

Valraven's sea-wife Varencienne, worrying about the future of her adopted people, begins an odyssey to confer with her mother, Empress Tatrini, but fails to reach her destination. Instead dark magus, enemies of her husband, take her prisoner. These malevolent beings' plans do not care about body counts only the success of their endeavor. Valraven must find a way to save his spouse and his world even if he must go through the dark to obtain THE WAY OF THE LIGHT.

The final novel in Storm Constantine's powerful Chronicles of Magravandias fantasy trilogy, THE WAY OF THE LIGHT, is a thrilling tale. The story line stays true to its predecessors (SEA DRAGON HEIR and THE CROWN OF SILENCE) while allowing the key cast to grow as major events have impacted them. The vividly described story line is loaded with action that enables the reader to feel the empire is genuine, but it is the strong personality-driven cast that makes this tale and the other two books worth reading by epic fantasy fans.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adriene on January 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have been a huge fantasy fan for years, as well as a fan of Storm Constatine. And I must say, that I personally think that this is one of Storm's best.
This is the third book of the Magravandian Chronicles that started with the amazing Sea Dragon Heir. The death of the king of Magrast, Leonid, sets in motion the events that began in the first book. Now the sons of the king battle over who will take his place and who will own the power of the Crown of Silence. The only problem? Only the True King may weild such a power, and the one destined to hold that title doesn't seemed to be to eager about it.
The thing that makes the Magravandian Chronicles stick out is the fact that it doesn't follow the same pattern as most fantasy novels. A genre that has grown rather acrid recently. Storm seems to focus mainly on things that are happening around the world now days, rather than a world of the past. The characters are well fleshed out and the plot is very well paced. The Way of Light spends most of its time laying the way for the final battle, but it never seems to go to slow. The tension it builds is more fufilling than the battle itself, which in itself covers a scant two paragraphs.
My only complaint about this book is the ending. Although it is satisfying on certain levels, there is still some loose ends that have yet to be covered. Ones that deal mainly with the characters.
I cannnot recommend the Magravandian Chronicles enough, whether you be a Storm follower or not. Those that have avoided the fantasy genre altogether should most certainly give this one a try because it has found a way to battle the cliches that often haunt these types of stories.
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