You Are What You Read

Reviews of books as I read them. This is basically a (web)log of books I've read.

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Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States

I am a DBA/database analyst by day, full time father on evenings and weekends.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Water Logic

Water Logic, by Laurie J. Marks, takes place a few months after the end of Earth Logic. Karis is the new G'deon and Clement is the new general of the Sainnites. They have made a peace, but Shaftali people including some Paladin irregulars are against the peace because they wants justice against the Sainnites. And many Sainnites are against the peace because they want to control the Shaftali and believe Clement is a coward.

Zanja and Clement's lover Mariseth travel to a nearby farm to get dogs to protect the Shaftali Council building after assassins sneak in and kill several people while trying to murder Karis. The assassins turn out to be sent by a Shaftali air witch who wants vengeance against the Sainnites. On the way back from the farm, Zanja falls through the ice and disappears. When she awakens, she discovers she has been transported via water magic to a time two hundreds years in the past. She travels to the House of Lilterwess where the current G'deon rules. She takes up with a Speaker from her own tribe and convinces the G'deon to let her travel as a Paladin. She then travels to the lake where she met the water witch and ends up finding him there. He tells her to travel to the ocean to find the witch who sent her to the past.

Meanwhile, Karis is upset that Zanja is gone, but Norina believes it may be due to water logic. Clement travels to a distant garrison to deal with a mutinous commander who used to be her lover. After the commander has her shot and kills two Paladins, Karis travels there by herself to heal her. Finally Clement, with Karis's earth magic, gets inside the garrison and captures the commander, killing her in the process.

Mariseth, or Seth, travels with a Sainnite named Damon to follow an assassin that got away. They track him to her own family's farm, where he's been turning Shaftali people against Karis and the peace she has made. The assassin sneaks away with a donkey and a locked box and they follow him to the ocean. He attacks them and kills Damon, but Seth manages to push him and the donkey over a cliff. Then the ocean people come and tell her she must get on one of their boats.

Still in the past, Zanja enlists the help of some students to break into an ancient library that she knows will be destroyed by the Sainnites. She steals a huge book and a donkey and makes her way to the ocean, but Tadwell, the G'deon, chases after her for betraying his trust. When the water witch of the ocean people takes Zanja on a boat, he shifts the earth to run the river backwards and bring her back so he can get the book back. He lets Zanja go with the water witch, and she gets thrown into the ocean, only to have Seth pull her out two hundred years later and she gets reunited with Karis.

This is a beautiful story. It tells about the struggle to unite two people who have been killing each other for a generation. Both sides have their detractors who hate the other side too much to give up fighting. The water logic comes into the story and disrupts everyone's plans. It turns out to have a reason of its own, as the water witch manipulated events to shift the earth around her people's bay to give it more protection.

As usual in the Elemental Logic books, the characters are strong and well drawn. Karis and Zanja's relationship is a central force in the story. Clement takes on her mission of keeping the peace but it nearly kills her. Seth, a minor character in the previous book, comes out as a complex central character. She wants to preserve the peace but is dismayed at the barriers, especially when her own family starts to turn against her. The assassin, having failed to kill the G'deon, seeks to poison people's minds against her efforts. It's a great symbol of the way that hatred and anger can spread through the land.

I was pleasantly surprised by the parallels between Zanja's travels and Seth's tracking of the assassin. Their paths are so similar, down to the stolen book and the stolen box. Though it's apparent what's in the box, it is a great experience reading about it being opened and having its contents explained. The whole story is woven together from separate strands into a strong unified experience. A-


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