Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Way of Light (The Chronicles of Magravandias, Book 3)
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on May 21, 2002
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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on August 27, 2005
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. Constantine's cast is so enormous that it's inevitable that at least a few characters get lost in the mix - Shan, who was nearly the hero of the last book, is almost entirely dropped as a leading protagonist, as is Merlan Leckery, who barely even appears in the book. In addition, the hurried pace of the conclusion undermines her attempts to redeem the reputations of some of the under-appreciated characters, such as Tatrini, Almorante, even Maycarpe, and in particular, Bayard, who began as a very attractively fiery character, but disappointingly ends up as a mindless villain.

Still, The Way of Light is most definitely worth reading, even and especially if you were frustrated by the first two books. I look forward to investigating more of Constantine's works now.
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on January 21, 2002
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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on January 12, 2002
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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on January 16, 2003
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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on January 10, 2002
Sea Dragon Heir was good. The Crown of Silence was outstanding. This one's even better.
The Way of Light concludes the Magravandias Trilogy. Despite what you think you know will happen here, there are still some suprises in store. I will not give anything away, thus this review will be much shorter than my usual.
Storm's gift for characterization has not failed her here. Rarely if ever in fantasy do you see such fully realized characters. I could easily strip the names from any given chapter of the book, re-read it, and know who is who just by their words and actions.
The one quibble I have with the book is actually with the jacket. The "synopsis" on the inside of the jacket is a) wrong, and b) gives too much away where it is right. Do yourself a favor and don't read it... just read the book.
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on December 4, 2009
The first book in the series was very promising, even with all the sexual lifestyle situations I don't normally care to think about between men. I could look past it, as I had great hope for this book. Book two was a total bomb and wasn't even needed, a worthless book about a quest that didn't need to be included. Book 3 again started great, but fell completely flat and the characters that were fleshed out in book two were basically useless even after a big buildup. The great battle that was to happen, the fight between good and evil that was promised for 2 books ended *(SPOILER)* with one stroke of a sword. The four people, warrior, magus, bard, and whatever the other one was had no task in the book or the final battle. Do not read this book or series or you will feel like you wasted time after the horrible ending.
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on September 10, 2012
For whatever reason, this trilogy took me forever to get through. It's a good series, but felt like it dragged. The ending was surprisingly brutal, but it wrapped everything up well.
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on June 11, 2015
I am in love with the Magravandias series and I desperately wish there were more books than a mere trilogy.
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on July 29, 2002
...and series. "The Way of Light" is an excellent conclusion to a brilliant series. Constantine specializes in beautiful and lyrical language and gorgeously lush descriptions that the bigger-named authors can only dream of; and this book (and series) is no exception. Plot-wise, however, I find the ending a little...anti-climatic, but the rest of the book is so good that it's worth the small disappointment. Anyone familiar with and appreciates Constantine's novels will find this book an absolute delight (...).
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