The Tempering of Men (Iskryne World #2)
In Iskryne, the war against the Trollish invasion has been won, and the lands of men are safe again…at least for a while. Isolfr and his sister, the Konigenwolf Viradechtis, have established their own wolfhaell. Viradechtis has taken two mates, and so the human pack has two war leaders. And in the way of the pack, they must come to terms with each other, must become broth
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We see the problems of the third book building, how will they remake themselves, what are we going to do about the not!Romans, etc. I think the t ...more
And number three, and my biggie: WTF is up with Vethulf, Skajldwulf, and Isolfr? I get that Isolfr is uncomfortable with attraction to men, but in A Companion to W ...more
Plotwise (the sex is a minor element in this one) the wolf pack is worried that they’ll become obsolete since there are no more trolls to fight (another parallel with Dragonriders of Pern). Luckily a new enemy appears in the form of a pseudo-Roman invasion force. The end ...more
HAHA say the authors, TIME FOR LOTS OF POV CHARACTERS, NONE OF WHICH ARE ISOLFR!
Also, gah. The plots were less developed and interesting this time, probably because there were three distinct plots going on. The characterization was also worse. Maybe it's because the POV swapped around too much for the authors to really get deep into ...more
3.5 Stars - What both authors gave me was well worth reading and waiting for and everything about the book was solid and well-executed. And yet while virtually every page had something for me to highlight, applaud, commend, and/or appreciate in terms of writing or world-building skills... There just wasn't a lot that I could just flat-out love, gush, and/or rant about in a happy, gleeful way.
For example, I appreciated the importance of the wolves as well as th ...more
And now I kind of feel cheated of my expectations out of this book.(view spoiler)[ I was ready to continue the adventures alongside Isolf and Viradechtis. Instead they only played a secondary role (at best) while everyone else took stage front center. My attention was spread between each adv ...more
A wonderful visit back to the Iskryne world. It's such a fascinating civilization. I love what Monette/Bear do with the sexual politics and gender roles. Yet while those issues never overtake the story itself, they greatly inform the plot and culture. Vethulf and Skjaldwulf's stories really shed a lot of light on their characters. It was great to learn more about them, and their relationship dynamics are so interesting. I found myself reading slower and slower as the book progressed, so ...more
I came into this series kind of ass-backwards. I read the third one first, loved it and then went back and read the first book in the series. Hm, looking at my reviews that was about one and a half years ago. Then I got to this book.
I figured my way out through the third book with no problems- characters and relationships made sense and the authors did a good job with letting me know who they were without anything feeling like an infodump. In this boo ...more
More wolves! More swartalfs! More territorial wolfjarl pissing contests, many many journeys, and not quite as much – but still quite a lot – gay wolf-bonded viking sex. Good times. I really like the unique premise of these books and that they don't play coy with some of the more controversial issues. And I enjoy the sly sense of humour shared by many of the characters. I could explore this world for quite a bit longer than the books actually spend playing in it (but ...more
I did like this book. These are the same fantastic settings and characters that I loved from before, and we get to learn more about their fascinating world and follow on more of their crazy shenanigans. And there were some awesome new things; brilliant layers added to this alrea ...more
I really enjoyed this book, too, which is a credit to the authors, because it's pretty piecemeal. You get the idea that the authors thought they were done after one book, and the readers said, "More!" And the authors were like, "Really? Because what comes next isn't that exciting." And the readers said, "We want to know anyway!" So the author's said, "You got it."
This book deals ...more
We Ran Out of Trolls, Now What?
I find it interesting how A Companion to Wolves was a strong stand alone book, but The Tempering of Men is anything but stand alone. It leans heavily on both the first book and a book that hasn't even been written yet.
It's not that the plot is thin. The plot is quite thick. It's that the plot isn't remotely finished. Oh, we reach AN ending point by the time the book closes and its not even a forced ending. It's a fine ending. It's just not the ...more
(view spoiler)[They fight wyverns! They fight bears! They fight Romans! They... meet some more svartalfs? I do kind of want the story of not!Vikings going to war against not!Romans, but as there seems to be a time jump between this book and the next book I'm not sure if we're going to get it.
I give this 4.5 and from this book I can see that the third book would be much much more intriguing than the first one, so, really looking forward to that ^^
That book I loved when I first read it and on re-read it settled firmly on the 4 star range for me. It had a new take on the traditional hero's journey, the stakes were high and the world was introduced and developed in a plausible manner. The book was well written and there was a lot of thought put into it, even if some of the content may have been questiona ...more
Same triumphs/mistakes as the first one, and though some of the new POVs certainly added to the story, some others felt somewhat superfluous and like they didn't add anything to the plot. Still though, I couldn't put it down until I finished it, so that's points in its favor.
The whole thing read like the first 200 pages of a 1000 page fantasy book, rather than a sequel to a really tightly written, self-contained, fully realised 250 page book. It was so bizarre lol. It makes me just really curious where the next one ...more
My problem with this book is more that the first book built up Isolfr, the protagonist, and then in this book we barely see him for five minutes at a time. I guess it's more of a personal thing - Isolfr was my favorite character in the first book and the most interestin ...more
I loved the politics, and the musings of what a warrior people do when their reason for warring is gone, in the form of Skjaldwulf awareness of his own age and how that makes him look at all the people around him. I love books about people growing into and learning leadership, which was what much of the first book was about, but here we have new leaders and new situations.
I was not expecting the Romans. I probably should have expected the Romans, but ...more
Let me start with the positive - we get glimpses of other people's points of view this time, and I enjoy the break from Isolfr's somewhat whiny point of view. I like whiny heroes (Hi, Harry Potter) but sometimes it's nice to have a viewpoint from someone who is a bit more grown up, a bit ...more
I've not finished this book (and may not), so maybe it gets better, but I'm seriously confused. Stylistically, this book is almost as different from the first book as it could be. The first book was a fairly incredible fantasy novel with a young hero torn from everything he's known, who comes to fit into a new position he wasn't ready for and find love in his wolf sister. This is some sort of romance novel that jumps between three characters' pov and doesn't always do a good job of letting ...more
I was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the secret cities of the Manhattan Project. I studied English and Classics in college, and have gone on to get my M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature. My first four novels were published by Ace Books. I h ...more