Into the Broken Lands by Tanya Huff: Intriguing and Thought Provoking

Shattered by mage wars, the Broken Lands will test the bonds of family and friendship, strength and sanity. To save their people, the Heirs of Marsan have no choice but to enter, trusting their lives and the lives of everyone they Protect, to someone who shouldn’t exist, who can’t be controlled, and who will challenge everything they believe about themselves.

I’ve been a long time fan of Tanya Huff and was beyond excited to see she had a new book out. In this novel, which is written from the viewpoints of five characters and two different time periods, she illustrates just why she is considered a master storyteller. Even with the complexity of the various points of view and timelines, she never misses a step, drawing the reader in, creating engaging characters and a story that is intriguing and thought provoking. 

Part of what makes the characters so engaging and for some, endearing, is the view into what they are thinking and feeling. Both heirs show a depth of character and caring that is easy to empathize with. The scholars, one the heir’s cousin, are perfect examples of how easy it is to see only knowledge as important, divorced from those that knowledge would help. The book also develops themes on the implications of magic and its use as well as abuse of power. That abuse of power dives into more than just magic, commenting on censorship and how lack of true information can guide a society into making the same mistakes as the past. Nonni or the weapon is unique, intriguing, and while the idea of how she is created is truly abhorrent, the character is interesting and caring. 

With the unique spoon on magic, mage wars, and the consequences of power plus endearing characters, this novel is intriguing and thought provoking. It is what true fans of fantasy or science fiction long for, a book that questions, makes you consider the answers and think through what the novel is trying to say. The theme of censorship and abuse of power is especially compelling in today’s society and if you like books that make you think, I found this one compelling and masterful. 

5 out of 5 magic traps

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