Lexie's Reviews > Traitor's Son

Traitor's Son by Hilari Bell
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's review
Oct 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: review-blog-pr, autographed, books-owned-read
Read on January 30, 2012

In Trickster's Girl one of my main problems with the book was Raven and Kesla. Looking back I would almost venture to say that Kesla was using the 'save the world' hoopla to escape the reality of her father's death and possibly also with a minor death wish of her own. Jason--or Jase as he mostly goes by--is a different story altogether.

Disaffected, indifferent and mostly confused about his place in the world I resonated moreso with Jase then I ever did with Kesla. His awkward attempts to flirt with Raven were as amusing as his attempts to puzzle her out. Which while I'm on the topic of Raven, I like this version of Raven moreso than the attractive boy the trickster was in the first book. It honestly seemed to suit the character more, but some of that may be that Raven was genuinely trying not to make the same mistakes again.

Though that doesn't preclude all new ones from happening.

Whereas Kesla's journey helped her understand her father better and to deal with her grief, Jase's is all about healing a rift in his family that echoes the rift in the world Raven wants him to help fix. Something that like Kesla he wants nothing to do with. Bell captures the youthful conceit that if its not their fault why should they fix it attitude very well. In Jase's case its a bit more complicated as his Native American roots make him a perfect candidate to help Raven, but a fall out between his father and grandfather when he was younger all but makes him indifferent to the whole mysticism of his heritage.

I will say that Bell tries hard to make this accessible to new readers. The first half of the book or so is a recapping of everything we learned about the issues at hand in the first book mixed in with Jase's family troubles. Raven is just as un-forthcoming as she was in book 1 with Kesla, but seems more patient with Jase. And definitely more sympathetic to his family strife.

Bell focuses a lot on race and how one generation's perceptions can be wholly different from the next's. The family rift started because Jase's father wanted a law changed so that Jase could inherit--the law states you have to 1/4 Native American in order to inherit lands, money etc, but Jase is only 3/16ths. The lawsuit put Jase's father in direct contention with his father, the tribe's shaman and the fallout reduced Jase to infamy and difficulties connecting with the tribe.

I thought Bell had handled the cultural aspects very well--she didn't preach or sermonize, nor go into lengthy explanations better suited for a textbook. Everything she discussed or mentioned was important to the overall story of the book and to Jase in particular.

The end is perhaps not what I expected and Raven specifically acted differently. While romance isn't quite the point of things, Raven didn't shy away from using hormonal lust as a leverage to get Jase to do what she wanted (especially in the beginning), but her reaction to her adventures with both Jase and Kesla surprised me.

This was a good conclusion to the duet, though it did leave some questions in the air that were perhaps best left unanswered. I don't think Bell meant this to be a definitive 'end', but an end to a chapter. Raven is after all a God--she'll live for hundreds of more years, possibly face another cataclysm like this again or a new one. However Kesla and Jase's parts were over...but that doesn't mean she won't visit them from time to time.

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Reading Progress

03/11/2014 marked as: books-owned-read
06/02/2016 marked as: read

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