Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Outremer #3: A Dark Way To Glory Mass Market Paperback – July 29, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The map at the beginning of the book cancel what little mistery was left about the location of this series.
We abandon for the time being Anton, left at the Roq, but we gain Jemel and Rudel, much more important in this third book than they were.
All is not well though. If Jemel and Elisande acquire the status of POV bearers and relative depth, but Marron, after the emotional peak of the second volume, seems here pervaded by the same coolness of the cruel Daughter he carries in himself becoming sort of distant and rigid. If this was meant to express the change he undergoes because of the Daughter it fails miserably and deprives us of one of the two main characters.
SPOILER --- SPOILER --- SPOILER --- SPOILER --- SPOILER
Another problem is that Elisande's love for him appears suddenly out of thin air. It is finely done, even the description of her pointless jealousy of Jemel but still we are given no basis for it.
Jemel's love for Marron, that is perfectly justified instead, is ill worded, as if the author were unwilling -or worse embarassed- to indulge in it and in the -avoidable- risk of melodrama. We are not even told what Marron thinks about it.
Worst of it all is that there are several paragraphs of the book where the plot flows so slowly and filled of unnecessary details that it drags. Are we dealing with a second-volume crisis? (remember this series was originally a trilogy and that this is the first part of the original second volume)
This volume gets the party from the Roc, where they met, to the place in the desert where they get to meet another major character, with some interesting diversions and scenery along the way. At the outset the party consists of Marron, Julianne and Elisande; Rudel and Redmond, the two Surayonese men; and Jemel, the young Sharai man introduced in volume 1 and briefly encountered in volume 2. The party have conflicting interests, not least because Marron and Elisande were involved in the death of Jemel's lover during the battle in the Roc, but they also have common interests and a common destination. That should be enough to keep the party together, but they aren't the only one with an interest in the supernatural burden Marron carries.
That burden, the almost-living weapon known as the Daughter, showed the first of its secrets at the end of the previous volume; in the trek across the desert we learn more of what it can do and what it does to its host, and a little of what it actually is. Marron isn't the person anyone would have chosen to carry it, but proves equal to the task.
And again there are hints of various romantic interests and entanglements, without it being at all obvious how these will eventually be resolved. This segment of the story concludes with another twist of one of the romantic plotlines initiated in the first volume, enticing the reader to read on.
This volume introduces more characters and adds new plot threads without concluding earlier ones, but it does expand on hints dropped in the earlier volumes, adding more depth to the world and the main characters. With the original book being split into two for the US edition, it should be seen as a segment in a long novel rather than a novel in its own right, and in that context offers enough to make for a satisfying read while still leaving the reader wanting to move on to the next volume.
A Dark Way to Glory provides readers the time to evaluate and come to terms with the shocking truths revealed in the final pages of the previous book, Tower of the King's Daughter. Each major character has now faced a crossroads and made his/her choice for the future. Julianne de Rance, daughter of the King's Shadow, has chosen to wed and then steal away (reluctantly) from her husband, risking love and life to follow the instructions of a mysterious djinni. With her is Elisande, an enigmatic young lady from Surayon, the "enfolded land" which the forces of Outremer seek to find and destroy; her friendship with Julianne is only one of several reasons she travels to Rhabat. In part, she goes to thwart her hated father Rudel, the jongleur whom we now know is a statesman of Surayon - as is Redmond, the torture victim rescued from the cells beneath Roq de Rancon. Jemel, a Sharai fighter whose blood brother fell at the hands of the knight Sieur Anton d'Escrivey, strips himself of all tribal affiliation and insists on accompanying the party for reasons of his own. At the heart of the whole story, though, stands young Marron; he is a truly sympathetic character who has, despite the best of intentions, betrayed the holy order of the Knights Ransomers, his master knight, and now his very own people. Circumstances beyond his control have made him the Ghost Walker, holder of the darkly mysterious, deadly force known as the Daughter. In this book, the complex secrets of the Daughter slowly begin to reveal themselves.
The desert peoples of Outremer have prayed for the return of the Ghost Walker for centuries, dreaming of the day their most awesome weapon, the Daughter, would be taken up once again by the Ghost Walker and used to destroy their enemies. No one among these people would have ever chosen Marron to be the Daughter's human vessel; the lad has seen and done things that truly haunt him, and he refuses to kill again. Certainly, the enigmatic Shadow Dancers, untold generations of whom have prepared to serve the Ghost Walker when he returns, are certainly not well pleased by the weakness of the chosen one (whom they insist on accompanying across the desert). I have to admit that the revelations of the previous book caused me to place some distance between myself and Marron, but his struggles to face up to the almost impossible challenges and internal struggles he must face as the Ghost Walker warmed me to him once again. He is still really just a boy, but he carries the greatest burdens in all of Outremer within his very body and soul. Young Elisande is fast becoming as interesting a character as Marron, though. The first two Outremer books failed to divulge many of her secrets, but her character grows tremendously as she and her party find their way across the desert. The depth and range of her emotions and thoughts threaten to force Julianne, a strong female character in her own right, somewhat into the background for the time being.
I daresay that Brenchley's bold revelations regarding Marron at the end of Tower of the King's Daughter may have rubbed some readers the wrong way. It certainly forced me to step back and reappraise everything I had just read. I would urge all readers to forge ahead with the series, though. I was appalled by the dark secret that was revealed, but Marron reemerges as an extraordinarily deep, enigmatic, and sympathetic soul in the pages of A Dark Way to Glory. Few fantasy writers can equal the power and richness of Chaz Brenchley's prose, and I am more excited than ever to see what this visionary author has in store for me in the remaining Outremer books.