Select one of the keywords
The Sorcerors' Plague: Book One of Blood of the Southlands    by David B. Coe order for
Sorcerors' Plague
by David B. Coe
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2007 (2007)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Sorcerors' Plague, first in a new Blood of the Southlands trilogy returns readers to a world ravaged by war between the magical, white-haired Qirsi and the dark-haired, long-lived Eandi, that has settled into an uneasy peace. Grinsa, the hero of David B. Coe's previous Winds of the Forelands, returns to take a starring role in this new sequence. A powerful Weaver, he was forced to leave his homeland. Grinsa, his wife Cresenne, and their new baby daughter, sail to the Southlands, seeking to make a new life together, but not realizing that Qirsi and Eandi live apart there.

However readers don't encounter Grinsa and Cresenne until they're well into this story, which opens on tragedy. A village has been wiped out by pestilence and we see the lone survivor, a small girl who feels that she has failed her family, setting off alone through the storm to start a new life. The tale then fast forwards more than sixty years. We meet an old man named Besh in the Mettai village of Kirayde. Unlike their fellow Eandi, the Mettai practice magic, but it's a magic based on letting their own blood, unlike what the Qirsi practice. Besh lives with his daughter Elica and her family, despising his son-in-law Sirj.

Folk in Kirayde are disturbed by the disappearance of old witch Lici, a talented basket weaver who came to them as an almost feral child. Now she leaves the village, musing that 'Some things could never be forgotten. Or forgiven', and unleashes terror on the innocent she perceives to be her enemies. David Coe makes the horror real and immediate via a series of vivid vignettes of the lives of many individuals touched by Lici's actions. As Lici wends her vengeful way through the Southlands, Besh tries to understand why she left - when he hears stories of villages being wiped out, he follows her.

In the meantime, Grinsa and Cresenne are taken in by a hard Qirsi tribe, the Fal'Borna - they welcome Grinsa to their community but insist on their law that Weavers only marry other Weavers. They keep the small family captive, until Grinsa offers to find who's behind the scourge spreading through Qirsi lands in return for freedom. As momentum builds to another devastating interracial war, Besh and Grinsa each seek to reveal the truth and stop a new conflict. I enjoyed The Sorcerors' Plague very much, plan to catch up on David Coe's earlier books, and look forward to more of Blood of the Southlands.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews