Abendau's Legacy by Jo Zebedee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Abendau's Legacy (The inheritance Trilogy) By Jo Zebedee
I started to write my summary of this novel and decided I needed to read it through a second time. The first two books are done quite well and this, the third, seemed different. I wanted to be certain that it wasn't just me. I don't think it is; but the second time through I was able to pinpoint what was different this time: at least for me.
These characters are growing and developing; which they should do, but that has a larger impact on the third story because of something that I perceived in the first book.
There is a real feeling of dark in the first novel that seems to permeate through from front until end. I'm not sure that everyone who reads it will see that: but I did. It turns out that many of the characters have the darkness embedded within their character; for some through mistreatment in their life that leads to self doubt and their lives become a combination of conflicts that arise within and more often than not this is what drives them. In a small way the protagonists are a group of dysfunctional people with a common purpose and together they muster the ability to complete that purpose.
But their dark lives; the self doubt; the mistreatment; the oppression has led all of them to this moment in their lives, damaged; ineffectual; alone, where their strength comes from working together. But that strength is not enough to keep them from making wrong choices that lead to catastrophe and death for those around them.
In the second novel they still are experiencing the result of bad decisions. Despite that: the characters are showing a slight and slow shift toward growth; but a subtext of the story is that they haven't quite let go of the darker parts of their lives that inevitably drive them toward conflict.
Now in the third novel; the shift that was becoming evident in the second novel has blossomed as though they needed the setbacks in the second novel to help them mature. The characters do remain flawed; but the darker aspects of those flaws have in most case been put aside. They still have some consequences that they must face from past decisions; but those are a given and they seem to have learned from the experience. For Kare there are some new things that have given him even more reasons for self doubt. But all of the main players finally understand the one thing that must happen for all of them to be able to retrieve past victory and make life right for all the worlds in the Empire.
Still unsure of the future, yet more confident of what he's doing Kare sets out to use the forces within the Roamer mesh to defeat his mother; the Empress. [Although most of this is easy to follow in and of itself, I recommend reading the first two books.] Sonly is moving toward becoming president while they seek to dissolve the present Empire. Lichio is beginning to realize that it is now time to begin to acknowledge that he might have a life outside of service to Kare.
When the Empress sends Phelps to retrieving Baelan; so she can punish him, she sets in motion events that will lead everyone to one place where the final conflict must occur.
Jo's trilogy contains elements of world building that comes close to those of Dune though not nearly as dense in narrative yet just as compelling and complex. The characters are a wide array of believable and sometimes relatable people whose lives you care for as you hang onto each struggle; heartbreak; betrayal and each victory; accomplishment; kinship.
Great elements of a blend of Science Fiction and Fantasy with interesting believable characters make this set one of my favorites. And though the darkness that sometimes annoyed me in the first novel seems to have almost vanished, it all makes perfect sense toward the growth and development of the characters and this final book rounds out the trilogy with an exclamation point.
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