Better than the first book. Aral was more competent in this book though there were still moments when I wanted to shake him for being an idiot or justBetter than the first book. Aral was more competent in this book though there were still moments when I wanted to shake him for being an idiot or just plain failing. For a guy who used to be a super awesome assassin who snuck into places and killed kings, you think he'd be better at sneaking around and not being seen.
Still, it was a light and enjoyable read. I was glad to see Aral developing a sense of humor as the jokes he made were pretty funny. Triss as always, was awesome from start to finish....more
In a lot of ways the first half of this this book is like a soap opera. The main character in the first half is Pharinet and she stays home though theIn a lot of ways the first half of this this book is like a soap opera. The main character in the first half is Pharinet and she stays home though the entire book while others go off and do stuff and sometimes tell her about it later. There's no fight scenes and no action because the focus is on interpersonal drama. The characters are all flawed in various ways and constantly find new ways to get themselves in trouble though affairs and love triangles. Unfortunately, for being such an important character we find out very little about Valraven as he is gone though most of the book and with the exception of a few scenes we only hear about him second hand from other characters.
In the second half of the book we get a completely new main character, Varencienne, who up until this point in the book has never been mentioned. Nothing seems to affect her, she just puts up with things she thinks will be unpleasant without much fuss or even internal turmoil. She doesn't really bother to get to know any of the other characters either. She was very flat and very static especially compared to much of the cast from the first half of the book. The cast from the first half is still there for the most part although at this point they've mellowed out a lot (or at least gotten better at hiding things not that they'd have to try hard to keep things from Varencienne, she doesn't exactly care about them). The background history is expanded in this section, but since Varencienne is so uncaring about everyone and everything, I found my self skimming through large sections and only reading the important bits. The ending was interesting with a nice reveal, but I couldn't help but wish that the second half of the book was from a different character's perspective....more
I wanted to like this. I really did. The world setting seemed interesting enough and the plot had potential, though the interesting parts got quicklyI wanted to like this. I really did. The world setting seemed interesting enough and the plot had potential, though the interesting parts got quickly bogged down and mostly buried by the drama of who was going to marry who. This too had the potential to be interesting in the Pride and Prejudice way. But you knew right off the bat Prince Rohan and Sioned were going to get together not because the Plot Said So, but because they fell in Love at First Sight and are just pretending to not care about each other so Rohan can pursue his political goals. And Sioned was set up to marry Rohan because the leader of her order of witches wants one of her order in the position of Princess. Like I said this had the potential to be interesting.
But then 2/3 of the way through the book a plague comes and kills off half the world. No, I'm not joking. Nothing much happens with this plot thread either. We would have been lucky if it had been the world blew up and everybody died.
Now since the prince has married, the shift has gone from who's going to marry who, to popping out babies. Because apparently in this world everything else comes second to getting married and popping out babies. The political scheming is more in the forefront, but the story drags and hops from character to character so much that it was hard to to maintain interest at this point. This section also brought to the forefront how awful many of the characters were....more
After reading so many urban fantasy books that so similar to each other, I found this book a nice change. The main character is not a PI, detective, pAfter reading so many urban fantasy books that so similar to each other, I found this book a nice change. The main character is not a PI, detective, police consultant, or Miss Marple. The dragons were allowed to be dragons and kill people rather than bemoaning a human love. The main character, Peter, is fond of humans, but he does not fall in love with one.
Some people might find the scenes where people are somewhat disturbing, I didn't but then again also read horror books. I found them to be in character for how the dragons were portrayed. There are plenty of fight scenes in the story, including a nice epic one at the end, but I found the more interesting conflict to be between dragons and humans how closely they can be allowed to coexist together (e.g. whether they can actually maintain a friendship even if the human is ignorant of the dragon's true nature)....more