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Restoration by Carol Berg

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pub: Orbit/Time Warner. 471 page enlarged paperback. Price: 10.99 (UK). ISBN: 1-84149-111-X.

check out website: www.orbitbooks.co.uk

The third and final instalment of Berg's 'Rai-Kirah' trilogy. The second book saw Seyonne the Ezzarian Warden lose everything he held dear to right an ancient wrong. This time it's Prince Aleksander's turn - Seyonne's former master, when he was a slave.

Seyonne is now tormented by a madness he believes is caused by the demon he joined with to save his people.



While struggling to come to terms with this he learns of the Emperor's death and that Aleksander has been accused of regicide.

In order to clear his name, Aleksander plans a doomed battle against the real perpetrators only to lose and become almost crippled.

Seyonne flees with him to a hiding place and it is not long before they learn that Aleksander's cousin is now Emperor and that there is a price on his head.

All the good Aleksander had done for his kingdom was ruined as the people were enslaved or taxed to starvation. Determined to retrieve his rightful place on the throne Aleksander and Seyonne try to find loyal houses that will support Aleksander but all are too afraid to openly support him.

Finally, when they have lost everything, they find themselves amongst the outlaws who originally worked against the Prince. Finding a new purpose Aleksander sets out to create a new kingdom.

Meanwhile, Seyonne has been struggling with his inner demon (literally) and dreams of the prisoner in the tower.

When he meets the prisoner through a trance, he learns that he is the only one to free him and that the prisoner was a man from another realm called a Madonai. Seyonne's people believed him to be a god and a legend grew from the mating of the god with a mortal woman and their son.

Jealous of the son the god vowed to kill him but the mortal woman stood between heaven and Earth and guarded her son until he became a man. Instead of killing his father as the god feared, he imprisoned him.

Although Seyonne comes to know the real reason why the Madonai is imprisoned he cannot decide if it would be wise to release him, as he hates all humans. But then he offers to make Seyonne a Madonai like him in return for his release. Seyonne has to decide if he can surrender all human contact to become a god.

Berg keeps you reading to the end with her final instalment. Her characters are developed very well and you sympathise with them a great deal. Especially since they lose absolutely everything and the whole world is apparently against them!

The plot twists and turns are numerous but the surprises are sometimes obvious.

I've read the whole trilogy and to be honest you couldn't read the books individually. You need to start at the be

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