Equivocal Destines is one of many books I’ve listed on this website but never really found the time to read it, except now I have, and what a great little read it turned out to be, well, not so much of the little…
In a world plagued by hordes warped by magic into creatures hell-bent on the destruction of mankind, where elemental magic holds sway and determines your lot in life, Taal is of the water, which should assure him a place among the revered rudas, protecting his city and assuring him the wealth it bestows. But centuries ago, it was a water wizard who caused The Change that precipitated all of the disasters that followed, and now, being a water wizard is the lowest of the low.
With dreams much bigger than life in Takelberorl will allow a lowly water-boy, Taal sets out on a journey that will change his world forever. In reality, he’s a typical, sixteen-year-old boy who’s only following the pretty girl, but those electric-blue eyes (and said pretty girl’s older brother) just won’t let up on the whole Destiny thing.
From the battle-scarred plains that surround the place of his birth, through regal cities and across pristine mountain wildernesses full of mysterious forces, Taal and his makeshift band of renegades search valiantly in a quest to unmask the evil forces conspiring to annihilate all races. Taking heart-pounding risks and suffering tumultuous trials, the team experiences both horrific battles and unexpected delights.
The Story Telling
Equivocal Destines tells the story of Taal, a fifteen, going on sixteen, year old water wizard. Life is simple. He works in the fields watering crops three times a day, lives with his mother in pitifully poor conditions, and owing to the fact he is ‘of the water,’ he gets very little respect from his fellow citizens.
This story begins with an introduction to Taal, his good friend Rah, and some of the shenanigans they get up to. These two young men may well live under the threat of hoards attacking their walled city at a moment’s notice, but they must also deal with girl problems (if only she would notice him), peer rivalry and compulsory weapon training.
The plot is weaved at a steady pace as the reader is introduced to what life is like in Takelberorl. It is a dull life, broken only by the arrival of carnival acts and a weapons fayre…and without meaning spoiling too much for you, the recent movements among the hoards.
I thoroughly enjoyed Equivocal Destines. I couldn’t help but like Taal, although I found myself pitying his predicament, I mean, who wants to be ‘of the water’ when it was the water wizards who caused ‘The Change,’ effectively ruining the world for future generations? Despite this, Taal has strong morals, a strong bond with friends and family, and at the times that matter, he has the courage to do the right thing.
The writing is very descriptive, and the story blends through this. Although it takes a while for the physical ‘journey’ to commence, the emotional journey begins from page one.
If you enjoy fantasy books with depth to the characters, and rich world building, then I would highly recommend Equivocal Destines, even though there is a sharp ending (cliffhanger) which leaves you yearning to read the next book in the series.
You can follow Raymond Clarke at: