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Book Review of The Century's Last Word by Brendan Walsh


The Century's Last Word by Brendan Walsh is a continuation of the lives and adventures of Dreden, Chanin, and Gerrika as they explore a world on the other side of the Sunitian Sea. Most of the new action takes place in the city of Brunswald, which is the capital of the country of Skaltbard. In Walsh's previous book, The Century's Scribe, the three main characters had left home, and disregarding the warnings of danger associated with the Sunitian Sea, they entered it and were transported to this new country of Brunswald.  Their journey to this new land is of great concern to their fathers, and soon, they too decide to journey into the unknown world of Brunswald in search of their children. 

If you have not read Walsh's previous novel, you will be surprised at the diverse types of life forms that populate his fantastical world. Part of the world he creates is a very inclusive one. It is inhabited by human types, avehos - crow-like humanized beings, and talking dragons that all live in harmony. On the other side of the Sunitian Sea, its population is basically of human types, and any beings from Kroonsaed are considered as non-humans by their citizens.

The Century's Last Word resolves unanswered storylines from the previous novel but also weaves in much more complexity, darker tones, and a vastly expanded view of the world beyond Kroonsaed. In this novel, Gerrika's father, Honja, and Dreden's father, Renny's search for their sons, become another suspenseful happening within the novel. During their journey into the land, they discover that the weapons these inhabitants have are much more deadly than their arrows.  They find themselves as pawns in a conflict. Will they find their sons, or will they perish?

Walsh's prose consistently knocks it out of the park.  It will catch you hook, line, and sinker. The Century's Last Word swoops in and makes you think. It opens the door for conversations about the nature of race through his portrayal of the interaction of humans and avehos. This book opens all sorts of possibilities to discuss inclusion and exclusion. There are many metaphors sprinkled throughout this book of fantasy.  While Walsh has his young characters struggling to stay alive through this dangerous world, they found themselves in, they also learn that the grass is not always greener on the other side and that first love is not always love at all.   The Century's Last Word is a refreshing spectrum of characters and an exploration of sophisticated themes of found family, love, inclusion, integrity, and moral


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