Maia is the fourth son of the Elven emperor, Varenechibel IV. After the airship carrying his father and three older brothers crashes, Maia is thrust oMaia is the fourth son of the Elven emperor, Varenechibel IV. After the airship carrying his father and three older brothers crashes, Maia is thrust onto the throne, a role for which he has no training. In fact, after the death of his mother, a Goblin princess, Maia has lived in isolation with his cruel and abusive cousin. Here we have a main character who is profoundly lonely, socially awkward, has no experience of the world into which he’s plunged, and who has internalized his abuser’s insults.
This is very much a character-driven story. Very little actually happens, so those looking for huge battles or “gritty reality” of the grimdark sub-genre should walk away. Yet, despite the lack of action, this is an utterly engrossing story. Maia doesn’t need to save the world or vanquish The Impossible Evil™, he has his hands full with courtiers trying to depose him, assassins trying to kill him, and the investigation into the crash of his father’s airship, all while trying to figure out how to survive life at the Elven court.
Maia is one of the best fantasy characters I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” in a very long time. Utterly lovable, and despite being unsure of himself and how he’s going to handle the difficulties he faces, he doesn’t simply go for the easiest decision and he stands by his convictions. He wants to be better than those who’ve hurt him, and refuses to be cruel or capricious. I hesitate to call this a “coming of age” story, yet it is definitely a journey into self-assurance for Maia and how he can balance his need for companionship with the necessary aloofness of his position.
Addison’s world building is top-notch. The language is a bit dense, both the English and the invented Ethuverazhin, but it feels organic and no single archaic English word is overused (I’m looking at you, George R. R. Martin, and all your leals, niellos, neeps, nightsoils, serjeants, japes, and nuncles).
I would heartily advise anyone who’s going to read this book to flip to the end first and read the section titled “Extracts from a Handbook for Travelers in the Elflands”, and to remember there is a “Listing of Persons, Places, and Gods” in the back. Normally I eschew this portion of novels, but in this case I wish I’d read it before starting the novel proper. The various forms of address for individuals can be confusing.
All in all, a great story that will leave you with the warm fuzzies after....more
Wow! What a great ending to a great series. This was, for me, the best of the trilogy.
The characters from the previous books are not just carried forwWow! What a great ending to a great series. This was, for me, the best of the trilogy.
The characters from the previous books are not just carried forward, but continue to develop and grow. Some even die; though admittedly this is no longer revolutionary in the fantasy genre, it's a realistic touch that cuts through the saccharine "everyone lived happily ever after" endings.
This book focused a little too much on theology for my tastes, but the ending showed it to be necessary and assuaged my discomfort.
As with the preceding books, I have one extremely minor complaint - the lack of hyphens in compound words, e.g. roundfaced, ballgoers, hyperenhanced, and outwait. Other than this minor pet peeve of mine, the writing is excellent....more
Great storyline and characterization that thankfully deviates from the overused fantasy trope of "young person saves the world" present in the first bGreat storyline and characterization that thankfully deviates from the overused fantasy trope of "young person saves the world" present in the first book, Mistborn: The Final Empire.
As with its predecessor, I found the writing great with only a minor personal complaint - the lack of hyphens in compound words, e.g. pitlike, nonconfrontational, intracrew, etc. Which leads me to another extremely minor complaint, the overuse of the word "crew". By the end of this second book of the Mistborn trilogy, I'm thoroughly tired of hearing about Vin's crew, how she feels about her crew, how the crew feels about her, etc, crew, etc. I guess I should be thankful she doesn't have peeps, homies, or a posse.