Reviewing Chains and Memory, by Marie Brennan

‘I turned. I shouldn’t have—I knew that even as I was turning.
BRENNAN-Marie_Chains and Memory
But my skull was full of cotton wool, and the thought came through
too slowly.
The guy who’d been staring at me was just a few feet away. As I turned to face him, he hurled something at me.
It hit me before I could react, square in the chest, and exploded into a burst of powder. I inhaled it, involuntarily—and burning fire traced its way into my mouth, my nose, my throat, my lungs…setting every nerve ending on fire.’

This, the third in Ms Brennan’s futuristic and magical series THE WILDERS – following Welcome To Welton (Book 0) and Lies and Prophecies (Book 1), will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of her followers and all readers of magical fantasy. I wish I had read the first two in the series before reading Chains and Memories, as it does assume the reader has some familiarity of the world in which it is set—

A world of the far future, in which peoples with magical powers are accepted among the ordinary populace, providing the government has them firmly under control. But parallel to this world is a real magical world, in which those with uncontrolled powers are of two kinds – each with their own agenda.

Our protagonist is Kim, born without powers, but taken by the Otherworld in her teens and turned into a half human, half sidhe.  Her mother has done her best to shield Kim from government control.

Until she is attacked, and changed to one with full magic. This part of her past is hinted at, but lays the base for her suspicions and her fears.

While trying to have government control of Wilders amended (as unlike others, she was fully normal for her childhood, thus never going through the training of wilder children) she comes up against the prejudice of the normals, including her mother’s. She works and takes up independent training in magical skills, and finally is allowed to join the [name it] group of trainee Guardians – Wilders whose skills are used to govern and control forces from the Otherworld.

Julian, another wilder, is driven to have the control device removed from all Wilders, and Kim empathizes with the cause – and with Julian; their relationship develops beyond that of training buddies, infuriating his younger sister, Neeya, only recently released from the wilder children’s training centre.

Events change things, moving rapidly as the political system manipulates the wilder populace, and the two Otherworld peoples seek to take control of the Wilders for their own gain.

Who to trust?
Who to believe – the Seelies or the Unseelies?

And entwined in the magical and political threads of the tale is another, just a s enthralling  – of love and sacrifice.

Published 2015 by
ISBN: 978-1-611381569-0

Cover Art & Design by Averey Liell-Kok and Amy Sterling Canil
(blog followers know I don’t usually mention cover art/design, which  tells you something)

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