The Wisewoman is a wonderful end to a fabulous trilogy that should be read by every fantasy reader who would like something a little different. I reviewed the first two books in this series here. The author cleverly creates tension without resorting to the battles, complex political intrigue and predictable structure favoured by many in the traditional fantasy genre. Instead we have a sensitive journey through a series of events that culminate in the answer to the ongoing mystery of the series – who is Carin and how is earth, the world of her birth, linked to the one she now calls home?
In this book, Carin and Theil discover that despite their efforts to avoid it, some unwanted visitors have crossed the void to their home. While making their way home, they must deal not only with the strangler weed and the bleeding disease, but also with their guilt at being the likely conduit for the plagues’ appearance in their world.
I was delighted that this book didn’t see the hero and heroine torn apart after they finally got together in the second book, another departure from so many series with a romantic element. Though the events test their relationship, I enjoyed seeing Theil smiling and the two of them happy together.
Much of this book is told from the Wisewoman’s point of view, a delightful character that, although mentioned in the first book, we only meet now. Her story helps us fill in the missing pieces of Theil’s family background and explains Carin’s original need to go north. Interestingly, seeing the lovers’ relationship through her eyes adds another dimension to the characters. Theil’s noble character shines out, surprising in the depth of his compassion and concern for his people, while Carin’s power grows alarmingly.
Many characters from previous books reappear, one with tragic results. I loved the ending, particularly Theil’s response to what he sees in the well (I’m trying not to give anything away here, you’ll have to read the series to know how your heart leaps with joy at this man’s transformation. I give it 5 stars without hesitation. Deborah Lightfoot’s books well deserve their place on the Awesome Indies listing.
Review by Tahlia Newland