It truly pains me to write this because I adored this series in the beginning, I sat and read the first three over one weekend because I could. Not. SIt truly pains me to write this because I adored this series in the beginning, I sat and read the first three over one weekend because I could. Not. Stop. But the last few books have felt stalled. There's very little obvious progression with the over-arching plot, very little character progression. I had AT LEAST hoped we might get an interesting look at Kaylin actually doing her job and investigating but for all this book supposedly revolved around some weird murders it turned out the story spent very little time on that at all. The plot was so convoluted it took my sister pointing out to me that the supposed villain, the one who started this whole mess? You never learn his name, his motivation, or frankly, even what the hell he DID to cause the mess in the first place
This book felt like a bait and switch. Nightshade is mission in Ravellon? Yes! I was excited at the prospect that Kaylin might actually GO THERE and find him and they would have to escape together. But instead it's all about resetting the timeline so it never happens? Time travel stories are the worst. The worst. When Kaylin went back in time in Cast in Silence I accepted it because it gave us a lot of interesting information about the world, the characters, and in the end, things changed.
TV shows can have these lulls, it's okay to have an episode or four where it's case-of-the-week shenanigans but when you're waiting a year between 600 page books they really can't dither around this much. ...more
This book is a murder mystery at the heart of a political thriller wrapped up in an epic fantasy setting.
It's been decades since Commander Anji savedThis book is a murder mystery at the heart of a political thriller wrapped up in an epic fantasy setting.
It's been decades since Commander Anji saved the Hundred from the internal conflict that ravaged it's people by killing the demons responsible and bringing the chaotic political factions to heel under his strong hand. Now his grandson is king and conflict is again brewing; the first stirrings of a succession war are beginning to surface in the palace, and there is unrest in the population as the old ways of the Hundred are being displaced by the growing influence of the current queen's religion. But threaded through the narrative is the still-raw ache of the untimely murder of King Atani, Anji's son, and all the questions surrounding it that remain unanswered.
This is a delighftully tricksy book. Just when I thought I had all the factions straight, knew what their motivations were, another layer got peeled back and I had to reassess. And the same is true for nearly every character in the book. As each are confronted with answers to the questions they've carried with them for decades, they find everything they thought they knew about their past and history upended.
If you have previously read the Crossroads trilogy, your view of history is quite different than the majority of the characters in Black Wolves. It was both very fun to know things the others didn't, and incredibly aggravating to watch just how true it is that history is written by the victors. There are some cameos of characters from the original trilogy that were thrilling but all too brief for me.
Readers of epic fantasy might find the structure of the book a little frustrating, the way the past is slowly revealed through memories and new information discovered decades later. But I promise your patience will be rewarded, as nearly all is revealed by the end of the book. And the questions that remain are more tantalizing than frustrating. I very very much look forward to the next book....more
This is why I almost uniformly loathe time travel stories. They end up being pointless in the end. Travel back in time and they're all about preservinThis is why I almost uniformly loathe time travel stories. They end up being pointless in the end. Travel back in time and they're all about preserving the status quo. Go forward in time and at the end of the day none of it matters because the whole point is to prevent the future. I endured the time travel episodes in previous volumes because they were largely about revealing information about the past, not about accidentally derailing it. Had the trip to the future in this one taken up less than half the book I could have tolerated it. But basically I may as well not have bothered reading 80% of this book since none of those people, places or events are going to happen now. Karigan could have just as well woken up and had the whole thing be a dream, as far as I am concerned. ...more