Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Review -- Return to Shanhasson

In this final book of the Shanhasson trilogy, Shannari dal’Dainari has won the Rose Crown. She has her beloved Khul at her side. Yet shadows crowd closer than ever. Political machinations and assassination attempts have crippled her ability to protect the land and the people. When her children are endangered, she has no choice but to send them to safety.

Away from her.

Surrounded by grief, danger, and turmoil on all sides, the last thing she needs is another enemy threatening to destroy all she holds dear. Yet a Black Dragon stirs in the deserts of Keldar. He haunts her dreams, while a Keldari army amasses on her border. When he soars over the Shining Walls of Shanhasson, will she put a knife in his heart…or will Shadow devour her at last with dragon jaws?
Again, Joely Sue Burkhart hits it out of the park with this long awaited final installment to the Shanhasson Trilogy. A highly emotional read well worth the wait. (My review of book one: The Rose of Shanhasson and book two: The Road to Shanhasson)

Return picks up about three years after Road left off. Shannari is trying hard to balance her life as the High Queen of the Green Lands and her life with Rhaekhar as Khul’lanna of Nine Camps of the Sha'Kae al'Dan. The world and characters are richly drawn. The intrigue is amazing. The story flows smoothly with huge highs and heart-dropping lows.

I love Joely's masterful painting of the world. It's epic in classic fantasy fashion yet nothing is forced. It was nice to see the Keldar again (I first met this branch of the world in some of Joely's free reads).

Where Joely shines is her characters. Not a two-dimensional person among them. These characters are so real. (I think I said it best in my review of Road when I said, "I lived a lifetime between these pages!") I love with them. I laugh with them. I hurt with them. I cry and scream with them. Even with the hints peppered on Joely's blog I came apart completely at one point. And yes, I screamed, scaring the dog, LOL. There were more than a few tears, not just sad but happy ones too, during this story.

In Joely's own words:
However, if your heart isn’t singing with joy at the end...and yes, a few tears might spill from your eyes (I cry every time I read it)...then I’ve failed utterly and completely.
She doesn't fail folks! (Though I'm thinking Shannari's gonna be exhausted :wink:)

This trilogy is not a romance in the classic sense. Bad things happen to good people. But this tale isn't all about loss. It's about love and the power of that love. It's about the greatest gift and the greatest sacrifice. Shannari's road is long and hard but there is light in the darkness.

This quote from Kahlil Gibran fits the Shanhasson Trilogy to a tee:
Your joy can fill you only as deeply as your sorrow has carved you.

Be sure to read the series in order!

Book One: The Rose of Shanhasson

Book Two: The Road to Shanhasson

Book Three: Return to Shanhasson


Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Gah, I can't believe I missed this! Thank you so much for the fab review -- I'll get your link posted first thing tomorrow!

Sherri said...

That's okay. I can't remember if I sent you the link or not :head desk:

This trilogy is so on my keeper shelf...err...permanately on my Nook :)

Soleil Noir said...

*surrenders bead to Sherri* :) Great review!

Sherri said...

:) Soleil

Loved your review...is there a way to share the bead?