am 28. Dezember 2013
Spoiler Warning for the previous books of the series! This is the next to last book in the "Emperor's Edge" series and non of the books is a standalone - all books rely heavily on each other storywise. So besides being totally unable to review the book without spoiling events in the previous books, the book would not make real sense to you, if you have not read about the characters, the world or the story until now. In this case, I advise to not read on, but to start the great series at it's beginning.
Synopsis [by Goodreads.com]
The emperor has been ousted from the throne, his bloodline in question, and war is descending on the capital. Forge, the nefarious business coalition that has been manipulating the political situation from the beginning, has the ultimate weapon at its disposal.
If it was difficult for a small team of outlaws--or, as Amaranthe has decided they should now be called, rebels--to make a difference before, it's a monumental task now. If she's to return idealistic young Sespian to the throne, earn the exoneration she's sought for so long, and help her closest ally win the respect of the son who detests him, she'll have to employ an unprecedented new scheme...preferably without destroying the city--or herself--in the process.
This is the only book in this series, I give less than five stars - because it isn't a book, but part of one. I am torn between being absolutely happy that the last chapter of former law enforcer, now revolutionary, Amaranthe Lockdon and her team was made into two books, because of it's sheer length and feeling the need to write a review just concerning this book. And this book is exactly what it's title says: part one of a story that stretches over two books and that does not have the feel of a wrapped up story.
So I totally recommend, not to start this book, without having part two at the ready, because - and that did really annoy me - it ends on a cliffhanger worse than Amaranthe having been captured by Forge in a previous book. I could only live with it, because I laid one book down and continued straight with the next one.
But, having complained enough, there is no way to deny the brilliance of the story! As in the other books, the main character, Amaranthe Lockdon, shares her 3rd person POV with another character and this time, this is Sicarius, the assassin and the former Emperor's real father. Although I don't know, if it is jusitified to still call only Amaranthe the main character, since in the course of this series and by means of the changing POV, we've gotten to know all of the other members of the crew really well and I feel like I know them and all of each's personality traits that show in everything they say and do.
But being with Sicarius is even more rewarding than being with the others was, because since he has his features so well in check and the others around him cannot but wonder what he is thinking, one really could just guess for five long books. And again, Lindsay Buroker did so well by not making his thoughts different from what we saw of him previsously, but to just explain how much he was raised to be an Assassin only and not having many contacts to teach him, how to interact with people. At times, I felt pity for him, when he struggles to understand what seems to be clear for all around him and even more, when he tries and fails to get in conctact with the son that despises him for being what he is.
And when he reminisces how that last year with Amaranthe and her fight for the Emperor and a better Empire has changed him, one realizes that this is true for all of them: their personal growths had been organical and believable, yet it is noticeable.
Besides the really well drawn characters, the world-building still amazes me: the world is high fantasy insomuch as it does not take place in a world we know and magic in various forms [depending mostly on which country the pratitioner comes from] is known. Although the Empire of Turgonia, where the story takes place, is a country that is based on technology that seems steampunkish and a vast rejection of anything magic. Turgonia reads a lot like looking Victorian-Age-like, but at the same time has lorries driving around, underwater and other dirigibles are used and so on. And let's not forget the alien technology the criminal economy-gang Forge, Amaranthe is hunting since book one, has at it's disposal.
This makes one of the various missions, Amaranthe and her team are on: to get access to the "Behemoth", the alien dirigible Amaranthe had been imprisoned on, and to find a means to destroy it. The other mission would be to "woo" generals and soldiers over to Sespian the former Emperor. After a lot of plotting [mostly on Amaranthe's side] and preparing, the teams splits up to fulfill their respective tasks. And since the plans are mostly plain crazy, the go awry and each of them has to improvise - and again it all has this "Mission impossible" feel to it: fast paced action, banter and emotional havoc culminating in a huge catastrophe that lead to the aforementioned cliffhanger...
My cliffhanger- and "not a whole book"-complaints notwithstanding, this is of course a must read if you are into the series: it drives the story towards it's end and does so in a totally entertaing way. As with the other books, I could not lay it down once I started, neither for food nor for sleep. It was the perfect preparation for the last installment "Forged in Blood II".
am 10. September 2014
Munter geschriebene und leicht lesbare Mischung aus Fantasy, Romanze und Politthriller mit einer putzigen Protagonistin, allerdings absehbar und mit vielen Längen durch die ständige Wiederholung der immer wieder gleichen Standardsituation: Heldin erkundet feindliches Gelände/Haus/Versteck, wird erwischt, kämpft sich frei, trifft ihre Gefährten, erkundet feindliches Gelände... &c. pp. Innerhalb jedes Romans wiederholt sich dieses Schema viel zu oft, die Handlung zieht sich dadurch quälend in die Länge. Ansonsten, wie gesagt, flott geschrieben und recht unterhaltsam.
am 30. Dezember 2014
Die Story hat mich an meine Rollenspielerzeit erinnert: mit einem halbausgegorenen "Plan" losziehen und sich dann mit gewagten Lügen oder Gewalt aus der Situation befreien. Je verrückter, desto eher lässt es der Spielleiter durchgehen ;o) Mittelalter, Steam Punk und Magie, schönes Setting. Liebenswerte Charaktere (ein wunderbar unperfektes Liebespaar), witzige Dialoge, da stört es auch nicht, dass die Welt nicht so intensiv ausgearbeitet wird.