May 14, 12
Read from May 13 to 14, 2012
Great book. Not m/m romance, but traditional political fantasy sprinkled with m/m relationships.
The writing is this book is a vast improvement over Ashling's first two in the series. There is no longer any cringe factor, and instead I just got to submerge myself in the intricate plotting.
Rullio was a huge fave of mine from his supporting role in book 2, and I would have read this just for his burgeoning relationship with Merw, which made me inordinately happy (although, going on past experience I can't put it past Ashling to kill Merw off down the road.) I actually laughed out loud for Merw's first scenes, which is a very rare event.
It was a sign of the Ashling ability to portray complex characters that, while in book one I was all "Yay, Anaxantis! Boo, Tenaxos!", after this book I like Anaxantis and Tenaxos equally, for completely different reasons. Not sure I can take the tension of the next two books: will they duke it out in this trilogy? Or is this all going to be set-up for a final conflict later? Or will the brothers band together? Sheesh, the stress.
P.S. I definitely never want to live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with Ashling as my local warlord: he has the most vivid imagination for torture techniques.