CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 6. . . . November 16, 2001
The burning city the people of Sirene see is Aramanth. The boy calling out for help is Bowman and the girl with the voice of the wind singer in her hand is Kestrel. Slaves of the Mastery is the second volume in the "The Wind on Fire Trilogy." The story continues five years after Kestrel, Bowman, and Mumpo return with the voice of the wind singer from their adventure with the Morah. The city of Aramanth is different; the houses are painted in a rainbow of colours, and there are no more examinations. Bowman and Kestrel are now fifteen years old, and their friends are getting engaged. But, the happy times in Aramanth don't last long.
Marius Semeon Ortiz and his army attack Aramanth, steal all their food stores, burn the city to the ground, and enslave the people. Bowman and Kestrel see the evil in Ortiz, and both vow to free their people from the Mastery. The people of Aramanth are marched toward the city of the Mastery, and Bowman and his family is among them. Kestrel, however, is left behind in the destruction of Aramanth when she stops to rescue the voice of the wind singer. She is forced to follow along behind the slaves alone and without food.
The people of Gang capture Kestrel when they find her asleep on the road to the city of the Mastery. Sisi, the Johdila of Gang, who is to be married to the adopted son of the Mastery, Marius Semeon Ortiz, befriends Kestrel. Meanwhile, Bowman, Mumpo and the rest of the Hath family have begun their work as slaves. Bowman can feel Kestrel getting closer to the city, and he sneaks to meet her as soon as she arrives. Together, they plan how they can escape.
Slaves of the Mastery is a gripping and suspenseful read. The characters continue to be intriguing. Mumpo is selected to become a manac, a fighting machine, and this sport is a very interesting part of the story. Ira Hath, the mother, continues to share her gift of prophecy, and we realize that she is seeing her own demise. Hanno Hath, the father, is sent to work in a library and discovers some ancient Manth documents that were thought not to exist. These documents will no doubt prove to be important in the final novel.
I found the second book even more exciting than the first. I highly recommend it and am anxiously awaiting the final book in the trilogy.
L. Branch is an Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information
Studies and the Department of Elementary Education in the Faculty of
Education at the University of Alberta. She is also the Coordinator
of the Teacher-Librarianship by Distance Learning Program
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