Just when I start thinking to myself, “Well, that’s it. I’m out of books to read.” I discover there’s an entire continent full of under-acknowledged fantasy writers out there. I’m talking about Australia.
After perusing all the lists of Hugo, Nebula, Locus nominated novels and making sure I’ve read all the works of my usual authors and going on Amazon to check out lists and recommendations, I somehow found out about the Aurealis Awards. These are awarded to Australian sci-fi and fantasy authors. Looking at the lists of past winners, I realized I have never heard of any of them before and decided to check out a recent series by a consistently nominated author, Glenda Larke. Turned out to be a very rewarding decision, and Ms. Larke is now on my “Read Everything They Have Ever Written” list.
The most important thing to remember about this series is that it is a marvelous story, incredibly fun to read, with great characters and an engrossing plot. That said, it’s less than perfect, and certain choices are questionable. First of all, the title of the series. If you asked anyone who’s read it what the name of the series is, they will probably say “The Stormlord Trilogy” instead of “The Watergivers”, because while important to the resolution of the saga, the Watergivers (a people in the world) do not actually figure much in the series (except very indirectly). Secondly, the lore behind how the world got to be on the brink of disaster is somewhat confusing, with snippets of lore spread out throughout the three books, and sometimes mentioned only obliquely. Readers going at a casual pace with break between books may not be able to piece it together. Finally, when the story is resolved and happy endings are reached … the essential problem that started everything is not actually solved, and it’s possible that in another couple of thousand years the same thing will just happen all over again.
But! Intrigue and heroism and magic, oh my! Reading this series won’t be a waste of your time.