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Aida Audio CD. This is not a huge flashy grand gesture kind of romance, and sometimes especially in Kessa's POV it seems the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but by the time you reach the end you believe in Kessa and Iathor and you believe that they really are committed to each other and it is the very satisfying feeling of a good story that makes this duology one of the best fantasy romances I have read in a while.
I liked the world building, I liked the obstacles overcome and development of the romance. I really liked the main characters and I will definitely be reading future efforts from Ms. Mccoy as she has built a sustainable and believable world with people I want to know more about. Aug 16, C. I honestly rarely have good expectations of works that are not published through major publishers. They're usually poorly edited, oddly plotted, and generally either not ready for market or plain bad.
It was well edited, nicely plotted, thoroughly interesting, and just a darn good read. I wouldn't advertise it as a mystery, or a love story, precisely, though it's technically both of those things. It's a good tale, with a nicely detailed fantasy world. I would I honestly rarely have good expectations of works that are not published through major publishers. I would stack it up against any of the popular fantasy works right now, and I'm definitely going to recommend it to my friends.
Having finished this second in a duology my most pressing thought was that the entire second half of this one view spoiler [when they all gallop off to Cym hide spoiler ] could been chopped off as almost entirely unnecessary and the rest reworked to make a longish but tighter standalone novel. We didn't need more chapters filled w Having finished this second in a duology my most pressing thought was that the entire second half of this one view spoiler [when they all gallop off to Cym hide spoiler ] could been chopped off as almost entirely unnecessary and the rest reworked to make a longish but tighter standalone novel.
We didn't need more chapters filled with Iathor refusing to see it and bigots claiming Kessa was an "ugly beast eyed barbarian" who couldn't be trusted because she was poor and dark skinned, because that was a huge part of the entire first book. Iasen deciding to try and have Kessa attacked again by people who could be directly traced back to his dramsmen was shockingly careless and thoughtlessly planned by someone who is supposed to be so amazingly bright and quick witted. It just read, to me, as if the author had an "oh crap, my book needs a finale!
Though I found this one slightly less difficult to follow than the first one, there were still points where I had to stop and re-read a section multiple times and still wasn't sure who was speaking or what they were trying to say. I'm not sure if this was a me thing due to being tired or if the dialogue itself and surrounding descriptors were unclear. Also there were a number of asides, like this in parenthesis, of character thoughts we shouldn't have been privy to in third person narration. There was also a tendency for characters we'd never seen or heard about before to randomly pop up in a scene and act as if they'd been there all along and we should know them by name.
We eventually learn she is a niece of Tania, but up until that point I wondered who the hell she was. Then later on in the story Bynae appears as a Chemstone maid who just happens to have been the lover of Viam, Iasen's cook, perfectly placed to be able to figuratively - and literally if needed - stab Kessa in the back in a strange act of prescience from the villainous brother.
It just seemed a little too coincidentally convenient to be believable for me hide spoiler ]. Still, I liked most of the characters and enjoyed that they had a wide variety of often conflicting emotions and motivations driving them and that on the whole they ended up doing the "right" thing more by happenstance than because they were particularly good or noble individuals.
Though the plot was pretty much signposted it was still interesting enough to see just how they were going to reach the inevitable conclusion and try and anticipate everything beforehand. In the end I'm not really sure what to class this book as. It's written almost like a fantasy romance, but there's little to no actual romance and definitely no instant lust or raging hormones.
There's a lot of "unfortunate events" and sleuthing around going on, but it's so obvious who is behind it that I couldn't really say this is a mystery or suspense either. I don't think this is a book for everyone and it certainly has issues view spoiler [like just what was Iasen's problem? Are we seriously meant to believe that a 40 year old guy threw an almighty tantrum that killed people because he didn't want the family line "tainted" by non-blond, blue eyed kids? The much more devious solution for such a raging bigot would have been to have his own immune children and then seek to have them placed as the more "suitable" heirs at a later date after quietly arranging political pressure and trying to sabotage his nephew's chances hide spoiler ] , but overall I think I sort of liked it?
I think it could have been made tighter and more streamlined in a lot of places, but it was something a little bit different and much more sedate and character orientated than the usual stuff I end up reading. I think in the future I'd like to read this again and see if it makes any more sense when I know where everything is going.
Nov 04, heidi rated it it was amazing Shelves: reviewed , ebook , fantasy , romance , wiscon. This book kind of broke my heart, but in a good way. Kessa is genuinely fond of Iathor, and vice versa, but there are some dark clouds each of them is dealing with that make it hard for them to relate to each other like we would hope. Kindly don't add new ones to the kennel. I will try not to spoil it, but she is particularly brave, and not a little pig-headed. I love that Iathor is coming to accept that part of what he's going to get in a wife is atypical, because he is marrying out of his class.
She's uncomfortable with the trappings of wealth or comfort, and she frequently feels trapped or constrained by the expectations on her. This book has some interesting economic viewpoints, which I enjoyed. For example, if your brother and his household arrive and live with you for a while, it wrecks your grocery budget, even if you are Lord Alchemist.
Even if you are titled in a way, you still need to earn money somehow. And it takes time and money to get dyes and make dresses. I also enjoyed the vigilante roof patrols of crime suppression. Lord Iathor and his household, now doubling as Batman!
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Read if: You enjoyed the first one. You are interested in the high points of self-publishing in the year You like actually complicated forced-marriage scenarios, and not stupid ones. Skip if: You have childbirth squicks. You resent forced marriage plotlines. You would rather not read about unrealized rape threats. Also read: The other two books in the series. Jul 22, Cheryl rated it it was amazing. You know you've read a good book when you're sad that it's ended. And I was very sad indeed when I reached the end of this book.
The first one, chock full of mystery, set the scene nicely for the second book. It becomes obvious by the end of the second book who is after Kessa, but the conflict doesn't feel drawn out at all; there are so many layers of intrigue and conflict that need to be resolved, and all of them are resolved with no holes, no confusion.
My one criticism, if I had to offer one, You know you've read a good book when you're sad that it's ended. My one criticism, if I had to offer one, is that the villain is somewhat one-dimensional.
I'd have liked to see more character development on his part Jul 27, Kristen rated it liked it. The long and short of it is that these books are historical ish fantasy in which Not enough Laita in this one tho Idk if I'd recommend these or not. They were a very mixed bag, filled with things I liked and things that made me want to stop reading.
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Apr 06, Meghan rated it liked it. Whoa- holy crappers didn't see a few of those pages coming. This Definitely contained adult themes. Not tween friendly. These are not pic perfect pretend people.
They are damaged and broken with messed up lives and pasts and trying to find way to overcome some pretty significant Whoa- holy crappers didn't see a few of those pages coming. They are damaged and broken with messed up lives and pasts and trying to find way to overcome some pretty significant hurdles. The overall guiding romance is NOT harlequin in nature. But two people trying to figure out what love means or even if it is a real tangible thing for either of them.
The supporting characters of the book are brilliantly done.