Published in the UK by Orbit 2017
Five years have passed since the Rebels confronted the Raen. Five years, in which the boy Rielle rescued, Qall, has grown up among the Travellers, with no memory of the life that was stolen from him. Five years of chaos, barely contained by Baluka and the Restorers. Worlds are at war, some overrun by deadly machines, some drained of magic by power-hungry sorcerers. As Qall comes of age, and Rielle and Tyen’s hard-won peace is threatened, their loyalties are tested – and Qall’s very existence is at stake. Because Dahli is still determined to restore Valhan to power, and he will stop at nothing to succeed.
Successor’s Promise falls as the third book in the Millennium’s Rule series. It takes place five years after Angel of Storms and in that time both of our protagonist’s have cemented themselves in some kind of resemblance to normal life. Rielle is working as an artist, designing tiles and working with a group of decorators in an Emperor’s palace. Tyen is working in a small factory and occasionally meets with Baluka and Dahli while he tries to find a way to restore Vella, once again being a friend to both ‘sides’.
It’s very hard to talk about this book without spoilers for the first two!
So beware SPOILERS FOR BOOKS ONE AND TWO MAY BE BELOW!
What I loved most about Successor’s Promise was the complete shake up of who the enemy was. The first two books focussed on The Raen as the enemy and he was so multidimensional it completely blew my mind. Seeing him from the different points of view was fantastic. Rielle, who saw him as a friend; Baluka who saw him as a monster and Tyen who was caught in the middle was very well written in my opinion. It really helped to get some interaction with Dahli as well who obviously adores The Raen. Instead of a typical enemy who is mysterious and has overwhelming power, The Raen has power and a conscience. You get to read about his history and why he makes the decisions he does. While he’s not all good, he’s not made out to be all bad either which is emphasized by the use of his actual name – Valhan.
In Successor’s Promise, this continues in the form of Dahli – he’s the new threat, but only because he wants his love back. Throughout the books you get the sense that Dahli is almost hypnotised with Valhan and his power, committing terrible acts purely because he is so blindsided by affection. Book Two saw Valhan try to get his memories into another body, one that is also powerful and could be his Successor but which would mean an innocent would be sacrificed to do it.
So book three continues Rielle’s story because she needs to protect that innocent – Qall; who Dahli believes can still be a host for Valhan. This ties in quite nicely with Tyen’s need to find a way to restore Vella to a body doesn’t it?
But obviously, things never go to plan and lots of adventure ensues and to be honest – it works. Trudi Canavan is in no rush to tell her story (each book is over 500 pages), she encompasses World and Character Building, mostly in equal measure which could make these books slow for some readers however for me, it was a nice steady pace and I felt that every option could be hashed out and come to a comfortable conclusion. I loved the interaction between Tyen and Rielle in this book, it seems to have been a long time coming but it was worth the wait. They really complement each other and although they work well together they actually do things wrong too which was really engaging to read.