Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Third in The Sunset of Magic series, Bort’s People by Alistair Potter chronicles a mission instigated by the secretive Counsel of Wizards to the planet Mirt, home of the warlike Harrowen peoples. The Counsel had believed that the Harrowen had been restricted to their own planet, but their attempted invasion of the peaceful planet of Nephus and the subsequent bloody war proved this not to be the case. Senior wizard Zepphal, who is himself a Harrowen, is charged with investigating. Bort, a hulking Trollid who had believed himself to be the last of his race, until he discovered a young female during a brief adventure on the planet Parhal, believes there are more Trollids to be found on Mirt.
So, along with his good friend, Lofti, (a Dunnit Sprite), they arrange to travel with Zepphal via a magical World Gate. To find answers, they must cross mountains and deserts and journey to the Harrowen Emperor’s capital city. On the way, they meet Pruth, a Shil Dragon Rider, help to heal her wounded beast, visit Zepphal’s home town to learn something of the local situation, and traverse the hazardous dragon lands to reach the Emperor’s citadel, where they learn the astounding truth behind the strange meteor showers which have become a feature of the planet’s night skies. Determined to set things right and return to their home planets, the small band makes its plans, but they are struggling against incredible odds - can they possibly prevail against the Emperor’s enormous might?
I have been lucky enough to review the two previous books in this series, and although your enjoyment of this last may be enhanced by reading them, it is not necessary to have done so to appreciate this latest chronicle. Alistair Potter is an accomplished author able to create credible authentic characters who remain long in one’s memory. Lofti the Dunnit Sprite is a marvelous example, a great character who I sincerely hope we will meet again in future stories. Mr Potter’s inventive plots are a joy and occasionally we get a glimpse of his humanity and concern for the planet and its environment peeking through his immaculate prose. Bort’s People is highly recommended and, if you can, try to read the whole series; you will not regret it.