Jewel of Truth: Book 3 of Boundary's Fall
Bret Funk
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Buy *Jewel of Truth: Book 3 of Boundary's Fall* by Bret Funk online

Jewel of Truth: Book 3 of Boundary's Fall
Bret Funk
Tyrannosaurus Press
468 pages
February 2006
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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The Boundary is failing. For centuries, it has stood as sentry, protecting the world of Madryn from the dark wizard, Lorthas. But the Boundary is weakening. Already, Lorthas controls armies that are sniping at the borders of Alrendria. Still there is distrust between the Elves and the Garun'ah, and between human kingdoms. Worse yet, the wizards who have held themselves in seclusion for decades still refuse to commit to aid in the war that is surely coming.

Prince Martyn finds himself caught between his betrothed, the princess Miriam of neighboring Gilead, and Kaeille, his Aelvin courtesan. His personal troubles are the least of his worries though as he rides west with the Alrendrian army to prepare his people for the potential of war.

Jeran is enslaved in caves under the Boundary, denied access to his magic and facing the mistrust of other slaves who believe he is a puppet of the Darklord. Free to roam within his prison, he finds both an unexpected tie to his past, and something that everyone thought was lost forever. Both may be key in one day defeating Lorthas once-and-for-all.

Dahr is isolated both physically and emotionally. He feels betrayed by one of the few people he believes accepts him completely. He feels guilty for an ambush he didn't see coming and couldn't prevent. But he has begun to accept the connection he has with animals, seeking solace in their company, watching the world through their eyes.

Author Bret Funk has taken on a heroic task. As a new writer, he has decided to challenge the likes of Tolkien, Goodkind, Jordan, and Martin in the realm of epic fantasy. He is thus far making a good showing of it. This, his third full-length novel, is his strongest offering yet. He has added to the complexity of his story with his heroes scattered across the land. Threads have begun to pull together into a tapestry of political intrigue, military prowess and personal and racial tension. The need to unite against a common enemy is the one thing that keeps the fragile alliance between Garun'ah, Elf and human from shattering completely.

There is one rather glaring moment of deus ex machina when a character demonstrates a unique ability that was not even hinted at previously. However, since I've seen as much and worse from far more experienced writers, this minor shortfall is easily forgiven.

Overall, this story seems well thought out, exceptionally cohesive, and skillfully written. Some fantasy writers become obsessed with costuming and hairstyles and the quirks and mannerisms of their characters. There's no such pointless detail from Funk; he just tells the story. It's refreshing. Furthermore, with the point of view changing frequently between characters in various parts of the world, it could become difficult to follow who is doing what when. But the various parts of this tale hold together well; the author never gets ahead of his audience.

Each installment of Boundary's Fall so far has been completely entertaining. Book Four in the series, Forge of Faith, is eagerly anticipated.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Amy Padgett, 2006

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