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[personal profile] aryllian
I just finished reading this book, which I received for Christmas. I thought I would probably like it, since I had at least liked the three previous books that Walton had written. The first two, The King's Peace and The King's Name, I liked well enough but was not excited by. The third, The Prize in the Game, I liked exceedingly well.

This book, I adored.

At first, it was a little slow, but as everything started coming together I was drawn in, and by the end--well. The world was fascinating, but it was the story that kept me reading.

I shall say more later, perhaps. Or perhaps not, as it is always more fun (and easier) to criticize than to laud--probably because annoyances stick out in the mind but that which is well done often leaves only satisfaction with nothing to point to as the cause. But for now I shall simply bask in the glow that comes after reading a good book.

No, actually, it's too late for that. The first glow of adoration is fading; I have started thinking critically, and I do have a few things I want to say.

I feel more attention could have been given to Haner. Her situation is interesting--no, more than that, her thoughts, as they develop, are interesting. But they are given very little time in the narrative.

Actually, come to think of it, this is a very focused book, and all the characterization seems geared toward the plot. Nothing seems extraneous. It seems this should be a virtue, not a flaw, but for some reason, now that I've thought of it, it bothers me just a little. Perhaps because it makes the characters seem less real when all their motivations come so neatly together at the end?

Speaking of neat solutions, the gold found by Sher and Selendra and the dragonets seems just a little too pat. I'm fine with how all the other problems were solved, but...I think this ties back to Haner. Her problem--lack of money--is solved by Selendra finding gold.

But really, for a book with so many viewpoints and characters, it does very well. I think being focused helps it a lot in that regard. Usually I'm impatient with so many characters.

Final conclusion: very good book. But next time I want to bask in the glow of finishing a good book, I don't think I'll start writing about it.

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Aryllian

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