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
I had the same problem with this set of stories that I have with a LOT, nay, most short stories. They're not complete. The last story literally stopsI had the same problem with this set of stories that I have with a LOT, nay, most short stories. They're not complete. The last story literally stops before the end and the characters talk around what the end was without actually talking about the end. Plenty of interesting concepts introduced that could have been longer stories that felt underdeveloped. I'm not the type of reader who likes to fill in her own endings, but I imagine there are plenty of people who would enjoy the ambiguity. There was something to enjoy in each story, but ultimately I felt cheated that most of them ended while I still had major questions. I will say that I enjoyed The Surfer in it's entirety....more