Book Review: The Artefacts of Power by Maggie Furey

Maggie Furey’s Artefacts of Power is a series of four “sword and sorcery” fantasy books. The books in series order are: Aurian, Harp of Winds, The Sword of Flame and Dhiammara. Each book focuses in turn on one of the “Artefacts of Power”. The Artefacts are based on the ancient concept of the four elements of the universe: Earth (the Staff of Earth), Air (the Harp of Winds), Fire (The Sword of Flame) and Water (The Cauldron or Grail of Rebirth).

These four objects are used by different magical beings, the Magefolk. There are only a few of these Magefolk who can use the Artefacts. As the series advances some of the magical people are killed making them even rarer. The Archmage, Miathan, is finally killed but he is a bit of bad guy and gets what he deserves. The Weather Mage, Eliseth, seizes some of Miathan’s power and does a lot of damage with the Grail of Rebirth than the dead Archmage did. She also uses the Grail resurrect the people she has killed making them zombies to her will.

Meriel the Healer’s lover is killed and she goes insane, killing many others until she herself is finally brought down. D’Arvan’s half-brother, Davorshan, tries to kill him but D’Arvan kills Davorshan instead in self defense. Then he learns that he is half-Phaerie and half-Mage. He also finds himself running the City of Nexis and protecting the city from the attacks of, the Lord of the Phaerie, who is his father.

The Archivist, Finbarr, dies protecting innocents from Miathan’s creatures created by the Grail of Rebirth. The Fire-Mage, Bragar, is giving up by Eliseth to merely protect herself. The Earth-Mage, Eilin, resides far from the City of Nexis in a self-imposed exile after Miathan manages to lead her husband to his death. This leaves, Aurian, Eilin’s daughter, using the Staff of Earth and Aurian’s partner, the half-Mage and half-Mortal, Anvar, using the Harp of Winds (also Anvar is Miathan’s unrecognized son) to lead the opposition to Eliseth and Miathan. The two lovers are helped by incongruent groups of mortals and a set of telepathic cats.

This series is pretty standard “sword and sorcery” fare, except the main characters are female. The narration changes points of view and jumps time frames regularly. Furey’s writing is fairly neat and clean and while easy to follow is not very innovative. If the reader enjoyed “Lord of The Rings” then “The Artefacts of Power” would be worth a read.

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