I had the pleasure of reading Hollow Road by Dan Fitzgerald earlier this year and now I’ve read The Archive. It is set shortly after Hollow Road and has just as much heart, if not more. The Maer and the humans join together to delve into the hidden history of the Maer. It was nice to be greeted by our old friends. Carl, Sinnie, and Finn grew so much over the last book and their storylines continue to captivate in The Archive.
The pacing of this book was excellent. Fitzgerald shows that he can have his hand in many pots and not get burned. Fantasy on a large scale? Check. Romance that comes off as organic? Check. Sexual fluidity and breaking social constructs? Check. Dragons, and cognizant mythic beings? Check!!!! I enjoy the fact that Fitzgerald didn’t drag us through meaningless battles, something that often makes me glaze over. This was definitely plot oriented and he kept on target there. I will be the first to admit that I love a little bit of love in my books, and I also am a book masochist and love a little heartbreak in them, as well. I was not disappointed! I found the exploration of sexuality to be well written and quite tender in this novel.
Fitzgerald caters to the duality that occurs to any living, thinking being. Sometimes we are the advocates, the protagonists, the good guys. Other times we are the malicious, the cunning, the deceitful. We crave power and control while feeling justified in our actions. The Maer and the humans both fall prey to this duality. I thought it was interesting (and well done) that just as we become more endeared to the Maer, we are thrown for a loop. The format of how certain things were revealed in this installment was a touch of genius.
Dan writes the journey masterfully. He doesn’t become a victim of writing too much scenery and too little plot. You’ll be entertained the whole way through. You might even learn a thing or two from the threads of wisdom woven throughout. I definitely recommend digging into this series.