I’m a Diana Peach fan. I finish out her Unraveling the Veil series with these two books. In a word–amazing. Here are my reviews:
by D. Wallace Peach
In D. Wallace Peach’s Allies and Spies, Book 2 of the Unraveling the Veil trilogy (see my review of Book 1, Liars and Thieves), the battle between the three races in this fantasy world continues and with a vengeance. The Goblins led by Naj, the Elves by Alue, and Changelings by Talin are fascinating characters, each with their own unique attitudes and passions. What connects them is their will to thrive and desperation to save the world. Here’s part of the blurb:
“Thrust together by a sacred oath, a halfbreed goblin, a misfit elf, and a changeling spy unite in an uneasy alliance. But their mission to learn the truth of the strange disappearances must wait—for they owe a blood debt to the changeling queen.”
The title tells it all–they are allies at times, enemies at others, and how can you tell the difference?
It all starts with a simple offer from Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos and self-proclaimed agent of chaos, who sees it as his calling to save his world through (or not) these three races:
“There is a sworn alliance among three adversaries, one of each race: elf, changeling, and goblin. I will swear a bargain with you. If their alliance can weed the garden of chaos, I will walk away and what’s left of the world will be theirs to create or destroy. If they fail, I am free to extinguish them all and start again.”
No spoilers in this review–you’ll have to read the book (or trilogy) for more detail–but here are two of my favorite lines:
“I have destroyed nothing, San. The races are imbued with free will. They decide whether their own kind are worthy of life.”
“If they had meant to convince him to pull the weeds of chaos from the land, they were too late.”
If you’ve read Peach’s fantasies before, you know what to expect–a feature-rich world, a nuanced but complicated plot, and characters that are fully as deep as any you meet in your Earthly existence. Through Peach’s deft pen, the world she creates is so lifelike I end up feeling that somewhere it truly exists. There is so much going on in the story, you not only never get bored but can’t put the book down. Each victory for these three characters is offset by a challenge and you don’t know until the end who will win out. In this case, that is the final book in the trilogy, Lords of Chaos. Though this trilogy is dark at times and threatening at others, at its root are earnest individuals often beaten down by life and prejudices that might inspire lesser folks to quit. These don’t.
I didn’t think this book could possibly be as good as the first in the trilogy. I was wrong. Highly recommended for anyone who loves fantasy, unconventional stories, and a David and Goliath story.
by D. Wallace Peach
In Peach’s Lords of Chaos, Book 3 of the Unraveling the Veil trilogy (2020), Peach wraps up the battle between the three species–elves, changelings, and goblins. Each clever and worthy in their own right, they are represented by passionate and willful characters–The Goblins led by Naj, the Elves by Alue, and Changelings by Talin. It seems that the rulers of this fantasy world–the Lords of Chaos–can have their way only when one of these prevails. Who it is must be decided and will be in this final chapter. The goal of this trilogy is best said with Peach’s own dedication:
To all those who do the hard work of speaking, writing, and marching for truth, compassion, and kindness.
If you’ve read other Peach fantasies, you know not to expect the predictable, mundane, or usual. Her prose is almost poetic in its delivery and her fantasy worlds satisfying and so believable you’ll want to book a flight.
A note: I am an avid reader of Diana Peach’s blog and don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying her inspiration for this trilogy was the US current political environment. She represents the drama and trauma that swirl around the country well through her characters and plot but without giving away where her allegiances lie. So be comfortable reading this no matter your persuasions. You won’t be lectured to or disappointed and you’ll likely see your viewpoint In the dramatic action that plays out on these pages.
More by Diana Peach
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.