Sky Trillium
Julian May

Cover 'Sky Trillium' was the last book written in the Trillium saga, but is the third book in the sequence. It concludes the stories of the 3 sisters, Haramis, Kadiya and Anigel.

In this book the world of three moons hovers on the brink of destruction and can only be saved by bringing about the Sky Trillium. Orogastus, the indestructible, is once again the principle villian. No matter how many times he gets killed, destroyed, vanquished he always comes back for the next book. Orogastus has resurrected the Star Guild and is set upon the conquest of the world, again. He believes the world can only be saved from ultimate destruction with him as supreme ruler and wielding the Threefold Sceptre of Power. Consequently he has to do unpleasant things to the Three Petals of the Living Trillium (ie, Haramis, Kadiya and Anigel) in order to get their talismans from them.

Fortunately this is not as hard as it should have been. Kadiya broke her Three Lobed Burning Eye at the end of the last book when Orogastus was destroyed for the second time. And Anigel lost hers as she gave it away in a fit of maudlin sentimentality. Of the three petals, the only one doing anything effective with the talisman she was born to wield is Haramis. A rather tragic state of affairs all round.

One of the most annyoing things in the book was a character created in the last one and given a primary role in this, namely Tolivar. He's such an annoying character I kept hoping something unpleasent would havppen to him and he'd be killed. Sadly he survives right to the end of the story, and beyond. He's meant to be portraying a misguided youth trying to work himself out and his relationship with his parents. What he is, is a spoilt brat you want to kill, and who deserves it.

There is good continuity between this book and the preceding one, 'Blood Trillium, written by Julian. Both being written by the same person makes this fairly easy to achieve, but it still carries the same major flaws overlooked from the first book. Chiefly the main protagonist is alive instead of dead.

The story follows the same basic plot as the first two. Evil sorcerer Orogastus wants to conquer the world and only the Three Petals of the Living Trillium can stop him or the world is doomed. You get no points for guessing who wins.

I'm a bit of a romantic myself, but the ending of this book made even me gag. Talk about trite and love conquering all, including reason and logic.

The writing for this book is up to the usual standard for the saga, which is to say it's shocking. Julian uses invented names to describe mundane things simply to make it sound exotic and fantastic. The horses are called fronials. Admittedly they have antlers and cloven feet, so it could be argued they aren't horses, even though that is the role they fulfill in the story. In line with this argument though they should be called deer rather then fronials, since that is what they creatures describe look like. I say this because the people in the book are called, and are, humans. Since the people are conceptualised as earth residents then the creatures around them should likewise be. Calling something be an invented name simple to be exotic is bloody annoying. There are creatures in the story which have no terran counterpart and I have no objection to giving them whatever name she wishes, but for the rest. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, call it a fucking duck!

The other really annoying aspect of this book is the magic. The only consistency to it, is that it has the same lack of rules as in all the other books. Nobody has bothered to define what cn and can't be achieved by magic. It is used to do whatever is necessary to advance the plot, even if it contradicts the magic that occurred earlier. Even the magic that is not real magic, but advanced science, seems to have no limits. There is no explanation to anything. Anyone who understands quality fantasy will tell you magic in a book must be internally consistent and explainable in the created universe to be believable. Magic may only be used by the seventh son of a seventh son, or by a woman born on the first of the month under a full moon, or by someone who has devoted their life to it's study and learnt the arcane secrets. The rules don't matter and can be anything, but there need to be rules and they need to be explained and adhered to.

For all these reasons I wouldn't recommend reading this book. It's not good, it's not even adequate. It is below average for a fantasy novel.