There were a lot of pages in this book, but not very much actually happened. I think about 350 pages were spent at the Rialla and I was practically beThere were a lot of pages in this book, but not very much actually happened. I think about 350 pages were spent at the Rialla and I was practically begging her to please MOVE ON. It was so boring recounting the events of every single day of a one week period. The resolution was almost exactly the same as the first book in the series, Dragon Prince, down to the use of magic, a duel, and something happening with dragons to make you all dragon happy. You could tell that she was a better writer by this book, so it does not have the hallmarks of a debut author anymore, but unfortunately it was just boring....more
I wanted this series to end more epically than it did. It was so close. I could feel it building it up, I knew shit was about to go down. Some shit diI wanted this series to end more epically than it did. It was so close. I could feel it building it up, I knew shit was about to go down. Some shit did go down, but the final battle did not strike the right chords for me.
As was my complaint with the last two books, there are too many characters with too many similar names. I’m beginning to wonder if I was more willing to keep characters straight when I was younger. Or had a better memory. I need them to have distinct characteristics and distinct introductions or they are gone. That was another problem – I could keep the names of castles straight, but not who was in charge of them. Often someone would be brought into a scene in the context of what they ruled and I always had no idea (except for a few characters, of course, where it was really obvious. Like Pol, Chiana, and Andry). One of the denouements was the giving of land and castles to various vassals and I really badly wanted to skim. Who cares who becomes whose heir? The series is over! I also could not keep track of which minor characters were Sunrunners, though again, some of those were obvious and I had no problem (such as Rohannon or Meig).
In general the series has a tendency to tell us about an event that could happen, build up to it, and then fizzle. This happened multiple times with things about Andry and the trickle of information the reader gets about why the Vellanti’m are even there. The build ups became meaningless as their climax was hardly worthy of the term.
However, I will say this. I have a thing for people breaking down and accepting who they are. It gets me every damn time. It’s one of the reasons why I find The Dragon Reborn so epic, why I love super hero origin stories, and really why I love the whole damn genre. So when someone heaves that breath, squares their shoulders, and says, “Ok, I’ll do it,” I cannot even. There was that moment in this book. It’s the sort of moment that makes 6 books of fantasy worth reading. To me, it was the climax, as the final confrontation was not very impressive. Like…at all. Like…it was really disappointing. But the moment Pol accepts who he is, that was worth it. You can’t make epic like that up. You have to slowly experience every damn page that comes before it, and then, THEN it is truly epic.
Other than that moment, though, the rest of the denouement was disappointing. Though I do thoroughly approve of what happened with Sionell. I love the main cast but there were too many threads....more
Part of the Non-European Fantasy by Women blog series.
This is exactly the sort of book I am so, so happy this blog series is introducing me to. I am bPart of the Non-European Fantasy by Women blog series.
This is exactly the sort of book I am so, so happy this blog series is introducing me to. I am breathless at how much I am loving the books I've chosen; Little Sister, by Kara Dalkey, is no exception.
It takes place in medieval Japan, a thoroughly foreign concept to me. I know very little about Japanese mythology and history, although this book was enough to make me keenly interested. We are introduced to Mitsuko, which translates literally to "Little Sister," and for much of the story the name fits her perfectly. She hides behind her sleeves like any good young woman being brought up in court, where modesty prevails above all.
Quickly, the fortunes of her family take a turn for the worse. The spirit of her beloved older sister, who Mitsuko wants to emulate in all things, wanders off after a tragedy, and only a shell of a human remains. Mitsuko takes it upon herself to fix this dreadful problem, leading her on an adventure where she makes unlikely friends through her tenacity and desire to set the world right.
The first thing I loved about this book was that it introduced me to a Japanese mythological creature called a tengu. There are a few different interpretations of what they are, but in this case, the tengu are basically raven men/demons. You can see a representation of one on Mitsuko's sleeve on the cover art. Goranu is one of these creatures, and decides to aid Mitsuko on her quest. He is hilarious and irreverent, and I would often burst into giggles when he pulled out a one-liner.
There is a definite journey of the hero here, and Mitsuko performs admirably. She pulls out extraordinary acts of bravery throughout the story, facing down a lot of adventures that would have left me, quite frankly, running for cover. At one point in the story she does break down - and, no spoilers here - it meant so much when it happened. I thought, "My god, look how far she's come, and I didn't even realize it was happening." The story was masterfully pulled together so the character development happened completely naturally. It's amazing to me how much punch young adult novels are able to put into so few pages.
I cannot tell you how much the ending affected me. Seriously, this is a young adult book! It's only 200 pages long! How attached could I possibly become to these characters? But I was, I was. I started blubbering at the last page, and typed within moments of finishing: "Oh my god. I just finished this about a minute ago. I burst into tears and walked blindly over to my computer to say Yes, yes, take all of the stars."
This was a great adventure novel that transcends the genre and the ages it was written for. It is out of print and so might be a little hard to get a hold of, but if you do ever get a copy, I hope you love it as much as I did....more
Wow, this one is an even BETTER cover. I am fainting with happiness.
Not nearly as good as the first one, and that one got pretty ridiculWow, this one is an even BETTER cover. I am fainting with happiness.
Not nearly as good as the first one, and that one got pretty ridiculous. Now the politics are even more insane. There's no single character and so it lacks a narrative. Oddly not much time spent on the actual story, or in the households of the Lines - it was more like a series of vignettes based around characters that would come on stage to demonstrate something and then fade back into the darkness.
Also a distinct lack of aliens tickling babies under their chin. WTH!...more