Melusine (Doctrine of Labyrinths #1)
Felix Harrowgate is a dashing, highly respected wizard. But his aristocratic peers don't know his dark past — how his abusive former master enslaved him, body and soul, and trained him to pass as a nobleman. Within the walls of the Mirador — Melusine's citadel of...more
I'm struggling to keep interested in this book. This is a poorly-explained world, where magical and social elements are introduced in passing, but not fleshed out; the book itself is structured with a bizarrely flip-flopping POV, reminiscent of a soap opera, which changes so frequently as to prevent me from getting interesting in either of the...more
Metaphors aside, I know this book is part of a four-book series, but I agree with others reviewers on this site in that it felt like a lot o...more
As with any book that has constantly alternating points of view, I found it distracting at first but eventually I was able to settle into it. (It's a personal preference. It works for some people and not for others). The world is an interesting place, though I think the nonstandard measurement of time is unnecessary and irritating.
I did not guess the connection between Mildmay and Feli...more
Okay, I've reread enough to write a coherent review.
Mélusine was a much more intense, disturbing, and violent book than I was prepared for, and so reading it was in some places extremely disturbing. But if you don't get squicked by rape, torture, mindfucks, or insanity, t...more
Felix Harrowgate was plucked from the slums by Malkar, a powerful wizard (and an incredible bastard) and trained to pass as an aristocrat. On the night his...more
The fact that I just finished this and can't remember what Monette called her world is one of the problems I had with the book -- I didn't get enough of a sense of place, here, and was never clear on the power structure of the society. I was never sure who the main characters were running from. Or to, for that matter.
Lots of the genre-usual invented names right from the start, perhaps not overly much compared to other fantasy books, but still more than I think necessary, ever. The sp...more
I appreciated the differe...more
When I read the prologue, I was a little surprised by the relative.. childishness of the writing. Writers do this sometimes, have the narrator speak as though talking out loud. And this is fine, except that the reader is reading and it comes off as uneducated. I prefer a narrator that formulates complex sentences and, in most cases, doesn't address the reader. But I still had...more
I am a bit sad, though. I rather liked mad-Felix...
Here's some stuff I wrote while I was still reading:
The prologue is interesting. It's almost like meaningful nonsense at first. Granted, it took a couple of false starts, but once you get in the rhythm of things, it makes perfect sense. Like reading a cypher. At first, you need to keep referring back to the key, but eventually, you'll be fluent in it.
But seriously. Holy shit. HOLY SHIT. o_o
Felix. He suf...more
Had this been an entertainment-only attempt, I could write line after line with praises about the clever plotting, the fine, elegant writing, the accurate characterization, the originality of the setting, etc. etc. etc. This IS a good book, after all, a quality fantasy you might want to cherish (and read only when you are in the right mood: to enjoy it you need more than the standard attention).
My biggest problem with the book was the time measurements that are used. Are not explained, save for one blu...more
I found the plot to be rather unbalanced, the world-building shaky in parts, the characters somewhat cookie-cutter in nature, and I really, really would have liked a first book to suck me in and explain this world before Felix's sanity was lost. I mean, don't get me wrong, this was not...more
One thing I did not realize when I started this book was that it was the first in a series of four. I was pleasantly surprised to find the next two books at the library after I'd re...more
Melusine is a bit predictable at certain points – the red hair especi...more
The thing that I missed most was the magic. This is the most magicless book on wizards I have ever read. I kept reading becau...more
But after awhile I got bored. There a...more
When you dislike a character so much, and they are a main part of the story and plot, that rather spoiled it for me. I felt the author really tried hard to present a detailed character one can visualize but I found Felix without true depth. I am also a hard stickler of the rule, if you don't personally know or...more
I was intrigued by what Hirondelle and Emmaco said about this/The Virtu, and knew that I was likely to feel frustrated by the fascinating but insufficiently presented world's magic system(s), history and politics. Which I did!
I also expected to like Mildmay more than Felix, based on Hirondelle's comments, and that was certainly the case, but more because I started to feel the anguish heaped on him was overdone by about page 20 than because he was arrog...more