**spoiler alert** I have been a bit remiss lately in keeping up with the Discworld series. Even though I love every story, I have fallen a few behind...more**spoiler alert** I have been a bit remiss lately in keeping up with the Discworld series. Even though I love every story, I have fallen a few behind (last one I read was Making Money, and before that Thud!) but finally caught the latest in the Watch saga when it went paperback.
The Watch stories are my favorite of the Discworld ongoing series. I have loved Sam Vimes and his lovable crew of misfits since 'Guards! Guards!'. This book was not strictly a Watch book, but rather centered around the man himself, Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the City Watch, Duke of Ankh-Morpork, Blackboard Monitor to the Low King of the Dwarfs, friend to The Diamond King of the Trolls, trusted ally of Lady Margolatta of Ubervald who trusts few and Lord Venitari, Partician of Ankh-Morpork, who trusts no one at all.
This book featured Willikins heavily rather than the watch supporting case, who were relegated to supporting cast. I love Willikins, the butler from the wrong side of the tracks who only ever has Vimes best interests at heart but tends to go overboard.
This book also heavily featured goblins, a race that has been largely ignored by most but eventually the Watch will bring all the peoples of Discworld together in the name of Justice!
For the most part the story was standard Pratchett fare, Comedy with a bit of a mystery to solve. Taking Vimes out of his comfort zone, away from his power base was an interesting move and the mystery kept me reading. I will say that I missed his usual cast and crew, but the story didn't suffer without them.
One bit that I found a little jarring was the climax on the river. There were three boats and the battle or fight to save the boats from the large wave was all over the place. It was a little difficult to keep up with the scene as they moved from boat to boat, inside, downside, upside and on the deck. In the end I got the picture, but it was not my favorite scene to be sure. Also, this scene was on the cover so I knew it was coming which was awkward. It's like seeing a preview for a movie and laughing at a one liner, then watching the movie knowing its coming.
Overall the mission was a success, and despite their attempts to make his life more difficult, Vimes was never in any danger of losing this contest. I love that, the smug villains who think they have a chance against the Watch only to lose spectacularly. Vimes will put you in your place. I will likely re-read the entire watch catalog now and maybe pick up some of the books that have been released in recent years.
**spoiler alert** I was a bit put off at the beginning of this book as a result of there being none of the previous characters in the story. In fact,...more**spoiler alert** I was a bit put off at the beginning of this book as a result of there being none of the previous characters in the story. In fact, we have completely removed ourselves from Chalion to a border country.
Once you get past the fact that none of the favorites are gonna make an appearance, its easy to get down to business and enjoy the story. Again, the protagonist was excellent. Ingrey was an old before his time badass with a crotchety attitude who didn't trust nobody!
Itjade on the other hand was calm, trusting and heroic! The perfect foil for our stodgy hero. To bad she was dealt such a crappy hand and came up on the opposite side of the law. They start the story on the opposite side of a murder and begin their relationship as jailer and jailee. While the murder charge is true, not all is as clear as black and white.
From ritualistic murder, to magic, to animal spirit warriors, to genocide, to succession questions and warring religions this book has it all! Ingrey takes it all in and is equal to the task, even though telling enemies from friends becomes increasingly difficult. The story had me reading all the way to the end to find out what the hell was going on, and I was not disappointed by the finale at Bloodfields aka Holytree!
I thought Ingrey did an excellent job juggling all the incoming information and figuring out the jist of what was happening while still manipulating enough people to save his love. All was going well but missing the final piece of the puzzle, but in the end Ingrey was equal to the task.
I am sad to see this series end, but I feel as though I have read and witness legends from the Chalion world. Stories that would become immortalized like Troy and passed down through generations. The saint who died three times for the house of Chalion. The Royesse who rode under a cloak of darkness to unite the kingdoms of Chalion and Ibra under persecution from a would be usurper. The mad dowager Royina who made a pilgrimage, saved a kingdom and became a saint to banish the bastards minions. The wolf lord and his leopard princess who cleansed the Holytree and welcomed the gods back to Bloodfield.
Just great stories, and I have enjoyed reading them. Time to read Bujolds scifi series? ;) (less)
**spoiler alert** I waited so long for this book to come out, and now the wait begins anew!!
First of all, I loved it! It had my some of my favorite c...more**spoiler alert** I waited so long for this book to come out, and now the wait begins anew!!
First of all, I loved it! It had my some of my favorite characters that we had been missing since 'Storm' and the story hasn't really lost any momentum or awesomeness. That being said, I have feelings about the abuse the George sometimes gives his characters.
I love the way no character is safe, I think it is one of the things that keeps me reading. Lack of a plot shield keeps you guessing and makes every action by our primary cast that much more important. But seriously, can we give the freakin Stark's a break?
Jon was doing great, he was making some of the most progressive political moves in reuniting a kingdom of any of the characters. Trying to unite two peoples in a common cause against the white walkers, valuing life despite old prejudices. Sure, he probably should have stopped killing his people by sending them to hard home but for the most part he was doing well as the watch commander. Until . . .
Betrayed! Stabbed. Presumed dead. >.<
<- Angry! I understand why it happened, but that doesn't make it any better. I have thoughts on ways he might not be dead, but they are purely speculation and wishful thinking.
I also have problems with Daenerys' behavior, she went from Dragon queen to like Sniveling Monarch. Seriously, her behavior was way out of character to what we have come to expect from her and I hope that she gets back to what she knows in the next installment.
The bastard of Bolton is one of the most hateful clearly villain characters we have come across. I hate him, and that is awesome. The intrigue in the North is great, though it felt like a bit of a tease that we never get to see what happens with Stannis vs Winterfell.
Also thoroughly bummed that we never get to see the battle for Mereen! That was shaping up to be a knock down drag out!
In the end, I loved it. Here we are again waiting for the next installment. . . how many years this go through? ;) (less)
**spoiler alert** Second book in the Chalion series. I was a bit surprised to find it not about Cazaril, but was happy to hear from Ista again followi...more**spoiler alert** Second book in the Chalion series. I was a bit surprised to find it not about Cazaril, but was happy to hear from Ista again following the great start to the series.
I was in on this book from the very beginning because I loved the first in the series. This book however does not really read like a continuation of the previous story. Instead it takes some of the characters from the previous tale and runs with their tale. I think it was a good approach, because 'Curse' felt complete, but there definitely needed to be more books from this fantastic world!
Ista's story was great, because again our protagonist is a cynical hero who has already had the world thrown at hear and come out in mostly one piece. She begins much as Cazaril, needing to change her environment to completely heal from the first 40ish years of her life. So she shrugs off the reigns of privilege and begins a pilgrimage!
I was also pleased to have the De Gura brothers back. They definitely needed a little more screen time. Liss was a welcome addition to the party as well! So begins the pilgrimage, which is really just an excuse to go on walk about for Ista. But the gods aren't thru with Ista yet! And so shenanigans ensue, leading to them being saved and housed with Arys de Luetz for a time.
Loved Arhys from the start, what a badass. I was hoping he would sweep Ista off her feet. . . and he did, 'cept he is married. Wah-wah. Oh, and she is a crazy person. lol. I mean at first Cattilara seemed sane and sweet, but after a minute you definitely see the craziness start to leak through.
All the sorcery and demon play in this story made it very difficult to get a grasp on what was going on, but it kept me reading and guessing right to the end.
Again we had a fitting conclusion to the conflicts, and I was happy to see Ista keep her power-up (one of the things I was bummed about in the last book was Cazaril losing his, though he was probably ok with it). I also loved Ista going off with the super awesome Lord Illvin, Liss and Foix the sorcerer to send any wayward demons back to the Bastard post haste!
In the end, I think we were only missing an appearance by Cazaril to make this spectacular! I see why she left Ista to handle everything, and left Caz to his retirement. Great book, on to the third in the series! (less)