had some hopes as this type of book may work for me when the voice is right, though not in this case as there wasn't anything compelling from the firshad some hopes as this type of book may work for me when the voice is right, though not in this case as there wasn't anything compelling from the first page, through the several tens of pages including the ending that I then browsed hoping to find a hook to get me reading it...more
set 4 years after the events of Penric's Demon (so thankfully skipping Pentric's school days in divinity), the novella is fairly interesting but its sset 4 years after the events of Penric's Demon (so thankfully skipping Pentric's school days in divinity), the novella is fairly interesting but its structure did not quite work for me - it is split in 3 pov's, one from an animal spirit shaman which was very boring as I never get the fascination with animal spirits in general, another from a sort of inquisitor chasing the shaman (who is accused of murder and absconded) and who serves as a sort of external observer of Penric as the inquisitor finds himself at the court of the princess arch-divine in need of her young sorcerer (Penric as mentioned back and working full time there so to speak) to find the cold trail of the fugitive; this pov is better than the one of the shaman, but is not that fascinating either; and then Penric (and Desdemona's) pov which is again the highlight of the novella, making it worth reading for sure but I really would have loved if that were most if not all the book...
overall, still interested in the series, but the highlight is Penric (with Desdemona - the composite 12 personality demon, ten women spirits, two female animal spirits which always makes for a fun dialogue - of course) and this book has only about 1/3 that...more
Iron and Rust (book 1) was an unexpected hit with me in 2014, though the sequel Blood and Steel while ok, lacked the freshness and vitality of the firIron and Rust (book 1) was an unexpected hit with me in 2014, though the sequel Blood and Steel while ok, lacked the freshness and vitality of the first volume - and maybe some of the characters and action there were less interesting - so I opened Fire and Sword with a mixed feeling, expecting more to be a "when in the mood for that" read, only to grab me from the dramatic first pages when the last moments of the Gordian rebellion in Africa are narrated, followed immediately by the panic in Rome at the failure of said rebellion and the start of the machinations from the Senate leaders, to the adventures of our favorite schemer, Timesitheus, on the way to a gruesome traitor's death at the hands of the terrible emperor Maximinus now in a war camp just over the Alps from Italy, with only his wits and fast talk to save him before arriving there, to various other threads covering the siege of Acquilea (the gate of Italy), events on the Danube and in the East, the adventures of roman noble lady (and quite unwilling daughter in law of the emperor) Iunia Fadilla, to the camp of the emperor himself, who is both very angry with the rebels and the Senate, but also weary and dreaming of "retiring" after one more success...
And so it goes with non-stop action everywhere, the wheel turns, treachery abounds, valor is to be found here and there but generally greed, fear and schemers prosper while the "regular" people are trampled by the armies or the mob
A great stopping point and the best novel of the series to date, making the next one an asap...more
another Fallen empire (free) novella, this time a prequel that will probably tie in with book 3; way too much "shoot them up" pages per total as the sanother Fallen empire (free) novella, this time a prequel that will probably tie in with book 3; way too much "shoot them up" pages per total as the strength of the series is in the characters and the universe, rather than in the B-action movie fights which occasionally get into comic book hero invulnerability territory; however I still enjoyed the dialogue and the series remains a current favorite...more
from the popular and crowded sub-genre of present/past stories linked in twisting ways and full of mysteries that are slowly and carefully revealed, Tfrom the popular and crowded sub-genre of present/past stories linked in twisting ways and full of mysteries that are slowly and carefully revealed, The Muse is a superior offering that kept me turning pages until the end; I loved the first person narration of the "present" story (it actually takes place in 1967 and the blurb above gives enough details, maybe too many actually), while the tension in the second narrative (1936 Andalusia, enough said...) ratchets slowly to the final twist one see just before it happens
One can talk at length about the social issues (race in England of 60's, women artists etc) and the supreme irony of the title ("the muse" indeed...) touched upon here, but the narrative force of the novel is such that nothing seems forced and the book flows and makes you want to keep reading, while regretting that it has to end...
Overall excellent stuff and making me take another look at the author's debut which I opened but did not get me interested to read beyond a few pages...more