In the third and last book of Earth’s Pendulum Series, The Dreamt Child by Yvonne Hertzberger, we begin where the last book ended, in a self-imposed exile by our protagonist, a seer named Liannis. After the events of the previous two years, Mother Earth bade her seer to a hidden cabin in order to recoup her strength, isolated from the world without. Unlooked for, her servant, driven by the same compulsion that drove Liannis into exile, arrives to bring her back into the world, and a mother very much in distress.
Upon her return, Liannis discovers that the two years of famine shows signs of ending, but that poses a challenge to the ruler of the demesne of Bargia, Lord Gaelen. In addition to Bargia, he has ruled over Catania after it’s defeat several decades previously, and Leith, a demesne he took over after defeating a group of traitors that killed it’s leader, Lord Merlost. For Gaelen, the situation is fast becoming untenable due to limited resources stretched too thin.
Liannis is tasked once again to assist Gaelen to bring balance to the One Isle. Only though balance can Earth sustain life and provide for her peoples. Further complicating her task is her relationship with her servant Merrist. Seers, by tradition, take no mate as their duties require them to be free to answer Earth’s call at need. The question then becomes will Liannis accept Merrist as a partner? How will the people react? Will Earth’s balance be restored?
And what of the Dreamt Child?
With The Dreamt Child, Yvonne completed the story which began with Liannis’s parents back in book one. It’s a story of the necessity of finding harmony with nature. In many respects, The Earth’s Pendulum Series is an environmental story, that life is dependent of Earth, that the planet sustains and nurtures life. It’s a complex system, and one that we are discovering to be fragile. Our survival depends on Earth to feed us, and so it is incumbent on us to be good stewards and not take life for granted.
Broader still in the series is the price we pay for war and how costly winning a lasting peace can me. The stories are rife with heroism and sacrifices, that our life choices and be taken from us, and that in doing so we have the opportunity to find a destiny wholly unlooked-for. Yes, there is love and intrigue, jealousy and betrayal, hallmarks all of a good story. Through it all, the over reaching theme is one of personal sacrifice for the greater good. Liannis exemplifies this time and again.
As with her previous books, I rate it highly, five stars. I read the book once several month ago, and I reread it last night to prepare for this review. I found the second time very much life reminiscing with an old friend. I loved the characters and their story arcs, and it’s nice to know that it’s a book that you can read again and still enjoy.