Parents' Guide to

Stormcaster: Shattered Realms, Book 3

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Spies, pirates, palace intrigue heat up complex tale.

Stormcaster: Shattered Realms, Book 3 Poster Image

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Full of spies and pirates and palace intrigue, this third installment weaves a complex and windy tale but serves more as a setup for the big final battle. Fans who are in it for author Cinda Williams Chima's great characters will be glad to hear that all the major players they've met so far get a turn to narrate: Lyss, Hal, Ash, Jenna. And in Stormcaster, there are two more as well: Destin, a spy, and Evan, a pirate and Stormcaster. Chima does a stellar job making Destin and Evan, characters with conflicted pasts, worth rooting for. And she brings gay characters forward to take the main storyline when, in fantasy especially, this doesn't happen often.

The downside to following six people so closely is that more than 500 pages pass and the big battles still haven't begun. There's no climactic action here that would befit a series about warring kingdoms -- just revelations that are supposed to tide readers over. Yes, the staging is well done -- spies double-crossing spies, new alliances formed -- but it's still staging, and it will make the wait for Book 4 so much harder.

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