Angie's Reviews > Heroes at Odds

Heroes at Odds by Moira J. Moore
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's review
Sep 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: good-uns
Read in August, 2011

Originally published here.

It's been a year--an entire year--since Heroes Return came out, and I am nothing if not ready for my fix of Lee and Taro. What better way to celebrate the summer than with a visit from my favorite paranoid and accident prone Source and Shield? I can't believe we're six books in with this series. It's one of the most consistently good series around. I can always count on a madcap adventure, humorous interactions between this long suffering Pair, and that vaguely ominous threat I've felt from the very beginning, and which I just know is going to erupt in all sorts of unpleasant ways in the very near future. Truly? That's one of my favorite aspects of this weird and fascinating world Moira J. Moore has created. I never feel like I get it all, like there are massive secrets lurking above me in the restless clouds, and when they are revealed will they be as sinister as they feel? As Oscar Wilde said, "The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts." Truer words . . . Last but not least, I do have to hand it to the cover gods this time around. Taro has gotten measurably more attractive. He's gone from having a face like a foot and jazz hands to an NFL linebacker-type mug with yon brawny sword in hand. You never fail to entertain, cover gods. I want to thank you for that.

Lee and Taro are still in Flown Raven. Still serving out their time (and the Emperor's bidding) in Taro's former home, though some things have changed. Lee has grown more comfortable exploring spell casting. She even joins a group of local casters who are interested in exploiting her particular powers as part of their enterprise. And Taro has grown a bit more at ease in the place that meted out such pain and disappointment to him throughout his childhood. And Lee is excited because her family has announced they're to visit her soon. She hasn't seen them in so long and it will mean some variance from their normal routine. Her excitement is extinguished quicker than Taro can channel a storm, however, when her mother reveals the reason for their visit. It seems a very long time ago, when Lee was just a child, her parents betrothed her to a fellow merchant's son--one Marcus Pride--as part of a business deal intended to benefit both families. They never expected the betrothal to amount to anything, though, and Lee's calling as a Shield should have annulled any prior contracts in any case. But wouldn't you know, the Prides are here to collect on the bargain. The father and son are, in fact, soon to arrive at Flown Raven themselves. And so the greatest challenge Lee and Taro face may in fact be winkling Lee out of a wholly unwelcome marriage before she is forced to wed where she does not want in order to save the family she left behind years ago.

I laughed several times while reading this one. It was lighter and funnier in tone than the last couple have been. Though there has always been an appreciable amount of humor to be found in Lee and Taro's banter and haplessness, this time around they seemed wryly cognizant of how often their circumstances go south. They seemed to take it in stride, so that the sham betrothal that could very well take them under just adds a cherry on top of the sundae that's been their predicament ever since they bonded. In one sense this was very satisfying because Lee and Taro were on the same page and very much at home in their own skin, within their relationship, and of one mind when it came to the impossibility of Lee marrying Marcus. I loved that. I loved Taro playing his part in keeping Lee from a distasteful marriage. And I most especially loved Lee's family in this one, specifically her two brothers. They are irreverent, fun-loving, boisterous and, more importantly, they care about Lee even when she doesn't quite get them. They don't take any of her occasionally dense nonsense when it comes to people. In that sense, they reminded me of a certain Source who cared about our Lee from the very start. Interestingly, they care about Taro as well, and they know how to go about it. In fact, they seem to really get the endlessly complex relationship between their sister and her partner better, at times, than anyone. And so I loved them, because they had the good sense to love Lee (and by extension Taro). I did miss a little of the, well, fire between the Pair in this one. Despite their solidarity, they seemed utterly exhausted throughout. I felt for them, but missed their more heated encounters. In the final installment, I would welcome a little more focus on their wonderful connection and that sense of concern for each other that makes me so fond of them. As for the ending of HEROES AT ODDS--it may possibly be my favorite thus far. It was touching, funny, fitting, and exactly what I wanted. I am so looking forward to the next and final book in this wonderful series.
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new) - added it

Elizabeth Ah! I hadn't realized this was out! I love Lee and Taro so much...this is going on my 'buy as soon as possible' list!

Angie Yep, it's out! Enjoy. :)

message 3: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Thankfully my copy should be arriving any day now... But you must be kidding?! Ace isn't going to publish the final book?? grrrr...

message 4: by Michelle (new)

Michelle and congrats on the quote! very spiffy!

message 5: by Estara (new)

Estara Um, I'm sorry to seem to be the one to break this news to you, Angie, but I guess you haven't read this yet (it's bad AND good news):

Angie Michelle, I know. It's infuriating. Ugh.

Estara, I actually read it days ago and have been ill over it. I talk about it in my blog review but decided to omit the rant here. :) Good and bad news, indeed.

message 7: by Estara (new)

Estara Ah! That's what comes from following you here. I was worried, but your glowing love there at the end - well I didn't want you to wait for ever for another ACE book.

Angie Ha! So true. Thanks for looking out for me. :)

message 9: by Estara (new)

Estara ^^

Miss Clark Lovely review:) And I was irrationally excited when I saw you'd been quoted - "I know who that is!"

I know, I loved that Lee and Taro were much more calm and together in this one, but they were so dead exhausted and tired and running around saving people, we did not see much of them. Something I hope is rectified in the final book.

Angie Miss Clark, aww. Thanks for telling me that. :-)

And I'm with you on our hopes for the last one. I can't believe it will a be over then. I love these two.

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