drey's Reviews > Black Bottle

Black Bottle by Anthony Huso
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's review
Jul 10, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: 2012-reads, fantasy
Read in October, 2012

I only made it about halfway through Black Bottle, so keep that in mind when reading this review.

Sena’s bringing Caliph back from the dead could have stemmed from her love for him, or from her need for him to be alive. I’m still not quite sure – and I suspect she isn’t, either. In any case, it’s not like she could be honest about her reasons, especially when she gets deeper into the Cisrym Ta – and seems to lose her sanity… But her actions have brought about a new cult, one that Stonehold’s neighbors view with suspicion and distaste.

And so we meet a new character – Taelin Rae, from the Church of Nenuln. I liked Taelin. She’s so idealistic, and some may say, a bit naive. If the Shradnae Sisters couldn’t figure out how to contain Sena – or get the Cisrym Ta from her – what chance does Taelin have? But she goes to Stonehold anyway.

Meanwhile, in Stonehold… Caliph Howl finds Sena’s journal, and being the inquisitive (or, “bored” and “lonely”) sort, decides to read it. I’d say he doesn’t regret doing so, but I’m sure I’d be lying. What he finds keeps him awake at nights – he can’t stop reading, and he can’t believe what he’s reading…

There’s politics and magic, and all the requisite concerned parties. Caliph has diplomatic relations to sort out, Sena has her own stuff to worry about. Neither seems to work with the other, and only one seems concerned about that.

I got as far as the destruction in the sky. It was impossible. Improbable. Some would add irresponsible. Caliph is left mouth agape as Sena walks – literally – away. In the sky. And as many times as I’ve picked it up since, I couldn’t get any further than this.

The world-building is grand, and the story is (probably) a 10 in terms of reach and vision. But, as with The Last Page, I got distracted by all the words that took me a while to absorb and assimilate, and that made it hard to enjoy. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s my own failing I’m talking about here, so if you’ve read Black Bottle and have a dissimilar opinion, feel free to comment, or link to your own review, here.

drey’s rating: Did not finish

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