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Secrets of the Undercity

1 rating: 4.0
Book Four in the Legends of the Four Races Interlocking Matrix from E.A. Rappaport
1 review about Secrets of the Undercity

The Transmuter Trilogy Begins!

  • Sep 20, 2011

E.A. Rappaport's ambitious nine book Legends of the Four Races interlocking matrix returns in the first book of the Transmuter Trilogy, Secrets of the Undercity.  Fans of Rappaport's previous work in this series will probably be very happy to see the return of Halia, Xarun, Minaras, Kuril, Sigmus, and even the so-curious-he's-dangerous wizard, Oswynn.  It has been quite awhile since I've read anything involving some of these characters, and it was nice to see a few familiar faces in this adventure.

Secrets of the Undercity opens with a little bit of background information on Halia.  Orphaned and living hand-to-mouth, Halia has become quite the thief.  Unfortunately for her, the two Terun thieves she is tracking are much better than her, and she finds herself at their mercy.

One of the two thieves, Nerv, convinces the other one, Veld, that a young human girl like Halia might prove useful in their criminal endeavors, and they agree to teach her everything they know in return for her assistance.  She becomes a skilled and cunning thief, but as the saying goes, "there is no honor among thieves," and Halia soon finds herself betrayed by the Teruns.

The book then jumps over a dozen years into the future, and picks up where the first book in the Legends matrix left off, with Halia now friends with the great warrior Xarun.  The pair have been through quite a lot together, and  Xarun, always ready to eat and fight, has agreed to help Halia find Nerv and Veld and exact revenge upon them.  They arrive in the Terun City to find that Veld has managed to lie his way to the governorship, and he has big plans for himself (all under the guise of helping his people).

We also find the very curious Oswynn longing to break free from his mundane wizard's apprentice tasks in order to learn more about transmutation.  Despite constant guidance from the wizard Sigmus, Oswynn begins to dig deeper into the wizarding world, and finds out about an island where amazing and dark magic was practiced.  Wanting to learn more, Oswynn sets out to find this mysterious island, and unknowingly releases an immense force of unholy creatures bent on revenge and complete control of their new home.

Eventually Oswynn, Halia, Xarun, and a couple of other familiar faces join forces against Veld and the leader of the dark creatures, Tyfus, as the pair attempt to use each other for their own gain.

Who wins in the end?  You'll have to read Secrets of the Undercity to find out!

Having read all of the books in this series so far, I was quite familiar with many of the characters and the geography of Rappaport's fantastic world.  I'm also very fond of Kuril, who has featured in a number of the books already, but takes a smaller role on in this particular book.  Rappaport has all of his creations pegged, and it makes for easy reading for folks like myself who have been following the series.

While a nine book matrix might scare off new readers to this series, just know that you do not need previous knowledge of these books in order to enjoy this volume.  It is a fantastic standalone book, but I do highly suggest that you pick up at least one or two of the other books in the series to fully enjoy each of these tales.

I look forward to the next chapter in this ambitious series!
The Transmuter Trilogy Begins!

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