When we left Meglynne at the conclusion of The Dragon of Trelian, she was accepting her dual roles: as a companion to the dragon Jakl, with whom she shares a strengthening bond, and her future as the princess heir of Trelian. However, as the continuation of Meg’s story commences, the young royal is learning that the transition is not an easy one. For Meg is experiencing nightmares and sudden angry outbursts; and, since she and Jakl are connected, the dragon feels the temper flares as well. On top of her unease about these unwelcome intrusions, the princess fears (with some justification) that Trelians will not be comfortable with the “dragon princess” as their future queen. There is one person in whom she can confide her concerns, but he is not available.
Calen, the apprentice to king’s mage Serek, has reached a milestone. He and his master have traveled to the Magistratum, where the teen will receive his first true mage’s mark. Once the painful ordeal of obtaining the facial tattoo is over, Calen attends the ceremony in his honor. However, a devastating surprise attack by sinister creatures (who only Calen, with a gift unique to him, can perceive) throws the Magistratum into chaos. The suspicion the apprentice’s ability arouses–made stronger by a prophecy that he is connected to the return of a ruthless, power-hungry mage–leads to the trip becoming an ordeal rather than a celebration. Serek, with the help of his eccentric friend Anders, spirit Calen away from the intolerable situation.
Meanwhile, back at the castle, there is unwelcome news. A neighboring kingdom suspects that Jakl is behind attacks the nation is experiencing, and its monarch is threatening a military invasion. Meg knows her dragon is not involved but is unable to convince her royal parents. In an impulsive move, the princess undertakes to prove that Jakl is being unfairly blamed–and finds herself in danger. As things go from bad to worse, Calen makes a heart-wrenching decision in the hopes of not only protecting Meg and her family but ending the evil that threatens the world.
The continuation of Meg and Calen’s story does not disappoint. As both teens grow into their roles and attempt to prove themselves capable and worthy of the trust of those around them, we simultaneously cheer their efforts and groan at decisions more impulsive than wise. It remains for the concluding volume in the trilogy to hopefully bring their story to a satisfying conclusion.
I had planned to write a comprehensive review of The Mage of Trelian, the blockbuster final volume in this series. However, any discussion of the plot would result in spoilers–not a good idea since there are readers out there who have not yet read the first two books.
There are a few things that I can say which will not give away any plot details. It is gratifying to see Meg and Calen grow into their roles as royal and mage while remaining true to themselves and those around them. Readers are given a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the people in their world. As the friends forge their own paths and face seemingly insurmountable odds, we cannot help but cheer them on. The immensely satisfying conclusion is a fitting finale to a marvelous series.