**spoiler alert** This is much more a coming-of-age fantasy than a romance and I don't see the resemblance to Crown Duel which some here have mentione...more**spoiler alert** This is much more a coming-of-age fantasy than a romance and I don't see the resemblance to Crown Duel which some here have mentioned, except that Flian grew up without close friendships with her peers, but here it is because she was raised at court and sensitive and stopped trying to make friends when a rival usurped her importance.
The music that is so important to her is a genuine pleasure, but also a way of avoiding having to deal with the nasty people, who find her boring. Where Meliara takes action from the start, if ill-conceived and is sure of her purpose, even to the point of stubbornness, Flian is very much a chesspiece at the beginning and finds her strengths (and that does not mean turning into a tomboy) during the harrowing abductions.
Now it's debatable if she really needed all the danger happening to her, to learn to look outward and try to become better able to deal with her situation as sister to the next King, but her experiences in those different countries forced her to compare what is custom at home and her perception of the world and how others see it, raised in different circumstances.
That's why her maturation is believable, and that her quiet persistence and dreams capture the interest of a hero which we never really see into (so the reader can't judge him) except at the end - being very taciturn to everyone.
I learned to trust Flian's judgement though, even to the extent that she avoids a probably quite pleasant and easy solution to her situation without having any guarantee that her true love will be realised at all.
She has some views concerning responsibility that she suffers for and is literally prepared to die for, if necessary, and that's what makes her a heroine to me. And then there's Jewel ^^.(less)
**spoiler alert** This has become a comfort read, signified by the fact I read it twice within half a year ^^. It's the old friends to lovers story (t...more**spoiler alert** This has become a comfort read, signified by the fact I read it twice within half a year ^^. It's the old friends to lovers story (truly old friends, not just former friends reconnecting as in the first two books) it has the least personal drama between the protagonists and it features the family ties of the Vows Quartet and their friends best. It's just a lovely and occasionally fun read.
--- I really noticed the way that Laurel changes the equation after years of frustrated longing, but once Delaney gets out of his habitual mind-set of "ignore the best friend of my sister, who lives in the same house, who grew up with her and whom I want to protect, as a very sexy lady with legs" he REALLY moved - and in comparison with the asshole hero of the first Dream Trilogy book, he had no need to verbally attack her to make her see the advantages of what he was offering.
And when he became overbearing, because that is what he is, true enough - she set him right directly and verbally - and he tried to understand. Makes me root for this kind of hero much more.(less)
**spoiler alert** I thought the heroine did the big mis at the end with much too little provocation considering how clearly the hero had set up his bo...more**spoiler alert** I thought the heroine did the big mis at the end with much too little provocation considering how clearly the hero had set up his boundaries, but it was a fun read and no paranormal elements. The interaction between the four friends is what makes this series.
----------- on second read I still think that she got him at a remarkably low point in his day - but it was more obvious that her hurt because of his withdrawn attitude had been gnawing at her and because I was more aware of her family this time it was also more clear to me that she wouldn't be able to handle it even as she promised to.
Jake very is abject very fast and even asks his friends and then the other Vows ladies for advice, because this temper burst basically made him rethink how different love with Emma had been. And because they were long-time friends to lovers he knew he would have to step up or shut up if he wanted to keep her.
It is interesting to read such an upbeat, peace-loving heroine (NR doesn't do optimists that often) but she really works inside all four books. I enjoyed this reread one star more than the first read.(less)
**spoiler alert** Well, I didn't remember that Sunspark was passed over so much in this book. I think it has a great development for Segnbora and of c...more**spoiler alert** Well, I didn't remember that Sunspark was passed over so much in this book. I think it has a great development for Segnbora and of course Freelorn, finally, Herewiss mostly came into his own in the previous book. There is a part where he and Sunspark are on their own again, but he only uses it as a handy tool, mostly. I sure hope that the eventually to be written fourth book gives their love more of a development - I mean even Hasai has more of a development arc through the three books than Sunspark - he only had signifant development in the first book.
I still love the fact that this finishes the outside threats to the kingdom, so even though the fourth book isn't written yet I don't feel dangled over a cliff. And the drama is great, as always.(less)
**spoiler alert** Because this book has less of a travelogue feel (because Jame is centered at Tentir and Torisen is mostly at Gothregor) this makes t...more**spoiler alert** Because this book has less of a travelogue feel (because Jame is centered at Tentir and Torisen is mostly at Gothregor) this makes the surprising revelations and supernatural action more manageable and I'm getting more of a feel for various side characters - I really liked seeing Macarn again for a bit and the fact that this book finally goes into detail of why the Knorth women were assassinated and why the twin's father broke down as he dead (as well as the various things he did to Jame and to a lesser degree Tori when she still lived in the keep).
Jame also teeters even more of the edge of becoming the proper Nemesis that the Kencyrath are waiting for or being tempted into the dark side - Frodo style or Darth Vader style ^^. She sometimes stumbles into taking warnings and information not seriously enough, but manages to redeem herself again - by sheer good will and her attitude of taking things and people at face value, the way they present themselves to her - without the whole burden of common background (because she forgot a lot, because she was taught very little conventional wisdom when she grew up).
I like the way that the various facets of power in the Kencyrath get revealed, and the way that Rathillien comes in - or at least the viewpoint of the Earthwife on it. The fact that we now know how long dead ancestors can still influence the living by virtue of their rememberances... etc.
It's very much a interim book, but the conclusion of Jame surviving the second Tentir culling is satisfying as are the amount of new info we have and Jame's developing skills and judgement (I could read a whole series of books of Jame at Tentir, and the next two will still have Tentir as the main focus).(less)
**spoiler alert** This was my first reread of Wheel of the Infinite and the book keeps getting better, because I roughly know the plot now and can con...more**spoiler alert** This was my first reread of Wheel of the Infinite and the book keeps getting better, because I roughly know the plot now and can concentrate on the interaction of the characters or the lovely world-building as I like.
There certainly is enough of interest left with the solution to this book for a few follow-ups, but from the author's LJ I gather that she isn't working in this world at all at the moment.
Being 43 years old myself, it was such a pleasure to have an older woman, but still in the prime of her life, dealing - with all of her competence and all of her power, but also all of her mistakes and regrets - with a world-threatening danger and still be believably interested and concerned in the former relationships that she returns to when she finally visits her home city and resumes the position she was exiled from years ago. Oh, and build a new partnership on the side, with a very competent, very tasty man who is at least 10 years younger than she is ^^.
Martha Wells doesn't have to lead the reader by the hand to discover the attraction between Rian and Maskelle (another kudos for having the whole setting in a successful empire of people of colour, Maskelle being one, born and trained to be elite and then making mistakes that are unavoidable - as the story explains - and cost many lives, among them her third husband's). They don't talk about it but when you read carefully - as I did on this re-read - you see the small signs of when the attraction starts from both sides and how they comfortably both turn it into something bigger than mere lust.
(view spoiler)[By the nature of the god whom Maskelle serves Rian is one piece in the puzzle she needs to make the ultimate desire of the god come true, as well as lead her world out of danger. The fact that we find out that this danger was actually deliberately generated by the god for his own purposes is adressed explicitly and eventually leads to the god falling under his own stated laws and ceasing to be. (hide spoiler)]
Don't worry, this book is a standalone and has a happy ending ^^, at least as much as Maskelle, who finally learns to forgive herself for her costly mistakes which made her public enemy number one, can bear, anyway.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Liaden is always dramatic, like Shakespeare is dramatic, but this time you get a happy end. I really followed Anne's problem with Er Thom's high hande...moreLiaden is always dramatic, like Shakespeare is dramatic, but this time you get a happy end. I really followed Anne's problem with Er Thom's high handedness better this time, and grasped more of his inability to see how she could misinterpret certain things BECAUSE of having no in-depth grasp of local custom.(less)
This book is Liaden in a nutshell, as it doesn't tie into any of the longer arcs of the story but has a lovely insight into Terrans and Liadens inters...moreThis book is Liaden in a nutshell, as it doesn't tie into any of the longer arcs of the story but has a lovely insight into Terrans and Liadens intersecting in the person of Jethri Gobelin. The book doesn't explain a lot of its background info which you can find more of in the other books, but truly it's not necessary. This is lovely space opera adventure and coming of age and just fun to read and it even has a happy end.(less)
Not only is this edition publishing the three novels in the right order, but there's a scene included that wasn't there in the previous editions. This...moreNot only is this edition publishing the three novels in the right order, but there's a scene included that wasn't there in the previous editions. This is so strong a start even though I can see some aspects of the Liadenverse have changed over the years when I read the current books. The strength of the characters and the plot remain the same and yay for the strong women and the men who don't feel weak when they find them.(less)