Book Critique – Full Circle (Castings Trilogy #3)

For review of all books in the series: Go here.

Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: Well-written with a balance between ongoing tale and the parallel stories of other characters without missing a step. Keeping readers intrigued to keep going on, keeping the mystique and reality just in equal parts for any kind of reader to enjoy.

Full Circle is the third and final book in The Castings Trilogy by Pamela Freeman first published in January of 2009. The story continues with Martine, Bramble and Ash reaching the Sanctuary, starting their path afresh towards their goals.

A thousand years ago Eleven Domains were invaded and the inhabitants forced to go on road as travellers, and welcome no where. Now these Eleven Domains are rules by the Warlords. However, larger elements like fire, earth, water and air, that the Warlords cannot control, play their part, perhaps may become the end of the Warlords era. Some involved are sprites, fairies, and some are just human. This series covers their stories and how they impact the Warlords rulings.

Ash and Bramble together raise Acton's spirit. Now with help of Acton, Baluch and Martine, they proceed further towards their goal to stop Saker, hope to rewrite history, and in the process pave a new way of living for all the Domains.

Freeman continues in the fantasy world with protagonists trying to figure out the right way to overturn 1000 years of warlord ruling while the antagonist is bringing spirits from the other world who are more than they can handle.

She continues to veer off from the primary characters, giving stories of some of the supporting ones. Most of her plot is written in the usual manner, however some of her off-shoot chapters usually end up being first person narration. In this book though, she brings all those off-shoot stories to a culmination in the climatic scene. I was surprised at the way she wove them in, totally unexpected.

Even though they are working towards the good of the people in general, Freeman shows that there are consequences. Right or Wrong one has to answer for their actions, face the results and acknowledge the mistakes while celebrating the wins. She made it a double edged sword for the protagonists.

I still want to put it under paranormal dystopian fiction as Freeman has warlords, fair people, travellers who are outcast, ghosts, enchanters and stonecasters. A recipe that fits my label I guess. Although I was surprised at her way of a battle, interesting, innovative and unique. 

Well-written with a balance between ongoing tale and the parallel stories of other characters without missing a step. Keeping readers intrigued to keep going on, even if the reader doesn’t believe in myths, spirits and hearing gods everywhere. She keeps the mystique and reality just in equal parts for any kind of reader to enjoy.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot reveals:

a. When Safred, Well of Secrets, was introduced at the end of the first book, Blood Ties, she was mentioned to be daughter of a warlord. In this book it is clarified that she is daughter of Masry, Cliff Domain's warlord; and brother to Thegan, Central Domain's warlord.

2. Sub-Plots:

a. The Eleven Domains are:

i. Far South Domain - ruled by the Warlord Merroc;

ii. South Domain - ruled by the Warlord Coeouf; his son Eolbert; Beck is second-in-command; 

iii. Three Rivers Domain - ruled by the Warlord Eni; His people - Otter, the stonecaster.

iv. Central Domain - ruled by Warlord Thegan, married to Lady Sorn. His people - Lefric "Leof"; Horst, the archer; Sully; Sig, the Sergeant; Faina, Lady Sorn's personal maid, and her lover Alston; Hodge; Bandy, Leof's groom; Affo, the chief blacksmith; Ael, the cook; Wil; Sirin, a merchant; Gard; Scarf; 

v. Western Mountains Domain - ruled by Cenred at one point. Currently ruled by Warlord Berden

vi. North Domain

vii. Lake Domain

viii. Far North Domain

ix. Cliff Domain - ruled by one of Thegan's sons, Gabra.

x. Northern Mountains Domain - ruled by Warlord Henist.

xi. Last Domain - ruled by Arvid. His people - Snow; Holly, a guard; Almond, Arvid's ,mother; Skua; Fox; Beetle; 

b. The Domains are bordered by:

i. Ice King's Country in the North West

ii. Foreverfroze in the North East

iii. Death Pass in the West

iv. Wind Cities in the South West

c. Bramble's family - mother, father, grandfather.

d. Ash's family - mother Swallow, father Rowan.

e. Lady Sorn renounces her husband, Thegan. Leof and Lady Sorn become lovers.

f. Last Domain's Warlord Arvid and Martine, the stonecaster, become lovers. 

g. Villagers from Turvite: Ranny of Highmark; Council Garham; Boc; 

h. Lake People - Eel; Salamander; Steersman; Listener; Vi; Oak; Reed, leatherworker; Minnow, the chandler; Drago, the ferryman;

i. Villagers from Oakmere - Well of Secrets aka Safred; Cael, Safred's uncle;

j. Other people Ash, Bramble & others meet: Twins Ber & Eldwin, their mother Aldith; Gorham's kids Hazel "Zel" & Flax; Elva, Martine's god child, her husband Mabry & an infant boy named Ash; Auroch, the stonemaker, his wife Cricket & their daughter Grass; Piper & her daughter Searose; Snapper; Crab; Vine; Skink; Snake; Sami, the mine boss; Medric; Fursey; Rumer & Rawnie, Zel & Flax's aunts; Otter, the stonecaster;

3. Grammatical / Factual / Location / Historical / Character Errors:

a. In the first two books, one of the characters was named Widow Farli from the village of Wooding that one of the protagonist, Bramble came from. However, in this book, her name changed to Widow Forli instead in pages 208, 213 and 214 where she was mentioned.

b. In the first book Blood Ties, Safred's father was introduced as Lord Masil. In this book when finally it was revealed who her father was, he is named as Lord Masry.

c. In both the previous books, whenever the warlord of South Domain was mentioned, his name was spelled as "Ceouf" and in this book, it is spelled as "Coeouf".


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