Ms. Library's Reviews > Son of the Shadows

Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
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Apr 01, 12

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bookshelves: fantasy
Read from March 31 to April 01, 2012

I think this is more of a 3.5 star book for me. There was a lot about it that was really well done.
The book itself goes at a quieter pace. I think this book (and series) is more about drawing you into the richly imagined world, than really following an action-packed plot. A lot of the conflict in this book, and in the previous one, was very internal. It was about how the characters handled their past, and how they broke free from it. It was about choices.
The hero here is a hero through her choices, and again, through the fact that she is a woman. A lot of the book focused on how women are sidelined and not listened to in this society. The men are constantly making poor decisions, and underestimating them. This can be really frustrating as a reader. Think of a mix of Mad Men executives and A Song Of Ice and Fire Gentlemen. They can be interesting characters, but their absolute blind spot when it comes to women can be incredibly annoying. However, that is definitely a theme of the series, and Liadan has to figure out how to get what she wants and stand strong despite that prejudice.
I do think she was a little more passive. Most of the action in this series is done by the men, which can be frustrating. Although Liadan earns the respect, she is still sidelined in a way. This leaves me with conflicted feelings.
I was excited to see what happened to the characters I loved in the previous book, and I think Marillier really weaves her story well. There's definitely a sense that this tale is not finished. However, she does finish Liadan's tale, and I appreciated that.
I was also frustrated by the romance in this. It tended to veer more towards conflicted bad boy syndrome a little. The painted man's group kidnaps her and constantly insults her, not to mention women as a whole. You get more of a glimpse into his past as to why the way he is much later in the book, but perhaps I'm harsher just because I'm so exhausted of this trope. One of the things I actually liked about Red from the first book was that he was immediately kind and protective. The Painted Man is a good leader, as we are told, and he eventually comes around to be kind to Liadan. However, at first he is harsh, and even later he constantly mistrusts her. Its incredibly frustrating.
So, again, there's a lot to like here, but there were also some elements I was not overly fond of as a whole. I would recommend this for people who like quiet fantasy and romance. If you're looking for something similar, I would suggest Robin Mckinley.
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Reading Progress

03/31/2012 page 150
32.0%
03/31/2012 page 183
40.0% "Yep, I get it. Woman are not in control in this society. So far, that has been mentioned LIKE FIFTY TIMES."
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