Corinne Akaran tries to solidify her rule over the reconstituted Acacian Empire by sending her siblings far and wide to enforce the peace. Corinne Akaran, the princess of the Acacia Empire, has declared herself empress following the events of book 1, the War with The Mein. Having suffered for years as the prisoner and lover of her family's sworn enemy, Hanish Mein, Corinne used the magic grimoire, the Song of Elenet, to murder the father of her unborn child and expel the Meinish invaders from her country.
Click here to see the rest of this review
In the resulting war between the Akaran loyalists and the northern Meinish army, Corinne's older brother Prince Aliver Akaran was killed. That should have made Corinne's younger brother Dariel the Emperor of Acacia, but Corinne is drunk on the power of the Song of Elenet. She seizes power without warning and sends Dariel on a suicide mission across the great sea known as the Grey Slopes to keep him from pressing his claim.
Meanwhile, Corinne's sister Mena Akaran is busy eradicating a mysterious race of mutant beasts that have been terrorizing the Acacian countryside since the war with Mein ended. The obvious implication is that the sorcery used by Aliver to defeat the Meinish army somehow corrupted the animals of Acacia, creating the monstrous beasts that Mena must now destroy.
Dariel departs on his mission to the "Other Lands" across the Grey Slopes. He is betrayed by the two-faced Shipping Guild and sold as a slave to the Auldek, a race of anthropomorphic animals who inhabit the Other Lands. The exchange doesn't go as planned, and rebels from the Other Lands rescue Dariel, kill the guildmen and injure the Auldek.
While a captive of the rebels, Dariel learns that his family dynasty has been selling child slaves to the Auldek for generations in exchange for the pacifying drug known in Acacia as "mist." Many of these very same rebels, were once poor children of Acacia, taken from their parents arms and sold into Auldek bondage. Needless to say, the rebels are none too pleased when they find out Dariel's name is Akaran.
Over time, Dariel earns the rebel slave children's trust and agrees to journey with them to meet their leader and help them liberate those children still held captive by the Auldek.
Best part of story, including ending:
The Other Lands is a great expansion of the Acacia epic. We finally see the mysterious Other Lands across the Grey Slopes and learn the fate of all those children sold into slavery by the Akarans.
Best scene in story:
Dariel witnesses an Auldek stabbed through the heart remove the blade from his chest and stand right back up. This is the moment when Dariel Akaran realizes the Auldek are invincible, and that his family has made a very powerful enemy.
Opinion about the main character:
Corinne Akaran has been a victim all her life. With the power of the Song of Elenet she finally finds herself back in control, and she finds that control intoxicating.