Dave Duncan – Perilous Seas

Perilous Seas by Dave Duncan (1991) is the third book of A Man Of His Word, a tale of words of power and a romantic quest in a world populated with many races from fantasy folklore.

In book two I had complained that the pacing was too slow. Only at around one third of the book things started to get going. Book three continues where book two left of and this time there is no lack of pace. There is no rushing either, but unlike book two, events unfold quickly and not much time is wasted on travelling, something which can become tedious as it is a common thing in mainstream fantasy novels, as the quest is often all about travelling, but many words are spent on the actual travelling while it’s all about the stopping points and the final destination. This time Duncan chooses to skip the boring parts, and it creates a nice effect during certain stages. Events are now really unfolding in unexpected ways and Duncan is moving away from falling into possible cliches of mainstream fantasy which books 1 and 2 still had a certain amount of.

I think this is certainly the best book in the series until now. I read it with much more joy and interest, whereas the previous books were entertaining enough but easy to lay aside for other things, it was much harder to do so for this one.

As this is a short series with books of no more than 330 pages, they all end with a certain cliffhanger. The third book ends in one of the most astounding cliffhangers that I have read. Duncan plays out the characters of his main characters daftly. By now we know how they behave and it all makes things complicated. The main and side characters are now also developing more strongly, which also was something which book 2 lacked. We see new and different sides and that certainly deepens them more.

The review of book 4 will follow soon.

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