In the beginning was a group of Shapers, each responsible for making a different group of creatures in the world, each with their own particular gift. Satoris, third-born, refused to withdraw his gift—desire—from the world, and thus began the great conflict between him and his oldest sibling, Haomane.

A thousand years later, Haomane's prophecy is coming true through the actions of the elf-like Ellylon and Men, and Satoris' Three are working to prevent it. An assortment of different characters parades across the novel, sometimes to the point of confusion. Moral ambiguities abound, and one isn't sure which side of the conflict is in the right by the end of the book.

Though Banewreaker is solidly plotted and beautifully written, none of the characters are particularly compelling, which makes this a difficult read and doesn't engender much sympathy for the difficult decisions that either side is forced to make. A disappointment compared to Carey's earlier novels, this book tackles the big ideas of good and evil—are you evil just because everyone else says you are? (Nov., 432 pp., $27.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs