Rai Kirah: Transformation, Revelation, Restoration

This series is now available from Audible. com. I’m thrilled. I know where my credits are going for the forseeable future! 

I was delighted that Carol Berg is close to completing a new duology after a long interval. She is a wonderful author. I love her books. I believe I’ve read every one of them at least twice.

Although there is always magic in a Carol Berg world, the magic of each world is unique to it, sometimes unique to individual tribes, nations, religious traditions and always different from any other book or series. Various styles of magic, morals, religion, customs, and sometimes sentient species make every series (or, in this case, novel) memorable. It’s part of the fun and why I read fantasy. It is also what Carol Berg does so beautifully.

On her worlds, the fantastical is normal. Her magic wielders are powerful, but not invulnerable. Often, their magic makes them more vulnerable and puts them in danger. On some worlds, they are the rich and powerful; on others, they live in fear of exposure. Magic wielders always pay a heavy price.

Although her books don’t necessarily end in tragedy, don’t expect entirely happy endings either. Even when everyone survives, all parties will sustain serious mental and physical damage en route.

Carol Berg never sets her stories in our world. No one belongs to any known religion, but everyone believes in something. There are no atheists in Berg’s books. They believe in their Gods. They never question their deity’s existence, though they may question why they have been abandoned.

A Carol Berg hero or heroine has suffered terribly, lost everything, but survives … after which, he/she/they will save the world. To be fair, pretty much every fantasy novel involves a lot of saving of the world, often many times over. In a long series, by the same person. I think it started with Gilgamesh (maybe earlier?) and so it continues through all of literature.

Carol Berg is an outstanding author, one of the finest writers in the genre and this is one of her finest works.

– – –

The Rai Kirah Trilogy: Transformation, Revelation, Restoration

All Carol Berg books feature mistreated heroes who are ultimately delivered and restored, none more than the Rai Kirah trilogy: Transformation, Revelation and Restoration.

This is one of my two favorite Carol Berg trilogies, the other being Collegia Magica.

The common denominator of her main characters is they have suffered great injustice and cruelty. All her primary male characters have been persecuted, beaten and often enslaved; this is no exception.

Although they may have originally come from wealth and power, all of them will fall as low as they can go and will be forced to fight their way back.

Injustice, transformation and redemption are the dominant themes the “Rai-Kirah” trilogy. A great wrong has been done and must be made right. Her heroes are the men who must do it. One is he who was wronged, the other the wrong-doer and the two men are karmically bound to one another, initially by necessity and ultimately by love.

Victim and persecutor evolve — together. Seyonne and Prince Aleksander, the heir to the Derzhi Empire, must learn to trust and forgive each other. Considering the amount of wrong that Seyonne and his people suffered at the hands of Aleksander and his family, there’s a long road to travel. In the process, they are transformed and become soul brothers. They save each others’ lives many times over; their fates are intricately woven together. I found their relationship deeply touching.

Despite the childish viewpoint of some reviewers, two people of the same-sex who love one another are not necessarily homosexual. If they were, I wouldn’t care, but in this case, they are not. In my world, loving non-sexual relations are called “friendships.” To those who have a problem with this, get over it. Drinking beer and watching a game is not necessarily the highest level to which a non-sexual relationship can rise.

Hatred, bigotry, ambition, politics, greed — the familiar pantheon of human evils — are the forces which destroy the lives of individuals and nations Carol Berg paints this series with a broad brush. Characters and entire peoples endure the unendurable without explanation or comfort. The ravages of war take a monstrous toll. Not unlike the real world.

In the course of Rai Kirah, a selfish, cruel monarch transforms into a compassionate man and ultimately, a far better ruler. The former slave rises while the king falls, but both are redeemed. More or less.

There’s plenty of action. Battles are fought, magic is wielded, blood is spilled. The writing is intelligent and the author never takes the cheap way out. The plot is complicated. No “deus ex machina” appears to fix problems. Seyonne can perform powerful magic, but it has its limits. It works, as do other weapons, but it is only one weapon among many weapons, though it sure is the most interesting weapon. The ability to wield magic doesn’t confer invulnerability. Magic offers benefits but exacts a toll.

Rai Kirah is beautifully crafted. The story is riveting. There’s a very satisfying amount of action, romance (think “Dumas” rather than “Harlequin“), nobility, fantastical realms and magic.

Categories: Arts, Book Review, Books, Magic, Reviews, Sci Fi - Fantasy - Time Travel, Supernatural, Writing

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