Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Warrior by Jennifer Fallon (Password Clue)
Synopsis From Back Cover:
It is eight years since Marla Wolfblade buried her second husband. In that time, she has become the power behind Hythria's throne - as much from a desire to control her own destiny in any way she can, as to protect her son, young Damin.
But while Marla plays the game of politics and diplomacy, the High Arrion of the Sorcerer's Collective is plotting to destroy her - and the entire Wolfblade line.
And though Marla's power and fortune are great, they may yet not be enough to protect herself and her family from the High Arrion's wrath - and her only ally and confidant, Elezaar the Fool, is toying with the idea of betrayal, for he has discovered that the infamous Rules of Gaining and Wielding Power are not so useful when his own family is involved....
If you haven't already guessed, Warrior is the second book in the Wolflade Trilogy by Jennifer Fallon. And I let you in on something else you probably already know about me, I not only suck at reviewing high fantasy, I hate reviewing it about as much. It's not that I don't love reading it, because I really, really do. After Golden Age mysteries, high fantasy is my favorite thing to read. Okay, maybe m/m romance is tied with it, but I've been reading fantasy longer than romance, and that should count for something.
I think I've already explained why I suck at if, but if you need a refresher, just reread the review I did for Wolfblade. It wasn't that long ago, so I'm pretty sure you don't need the refresher, but just in case, it's there for you. The reasons still hold, so don't expect a great review for this one either.
This is the middle book of the trilogy, and like most middle books, it really acts as a bridge between the first and the third. That's not to say that there isn't a crap ton of developments that take place in this book, but they are all designed to further the story into the third book, Warlord.
The characters are the backbone of this series, and there is not a one that I don't love for one reason or another.
Marla is now on her fourth marriage, and this husband is the one I like the most. Despite their different backgrounds, he seems to be a true partner for her, even if it's not true love match. She has surrounded herself, and her son with a host of children. Between her own children, the nephews, step kids, foster son, and adopted daughter, she has built up a powerful support system for her son Damin. As they grow up, they become staunch allies for Damin to rely on, and help him stay in power.
Of all of them I think I Kalan, his half sister, and Starros, the foster son, are my two favorites, For very different reasons, and in very different ways, they become the two that help Damin become the man he is, and they are probably the two that have his best interests at heart. I think the entire extended family is there for him, but these are the two that seem to be the strongest, despite anything that may happen between them and him. Kalan comes into her on in this book, and lives up to the promise that she made to herself. Starros, is the one that has his entire life ripped into shreds, and put back together, mostly in ways he is still struggling to cope with. Just short of Marla, Alija, and Damin, these are the two characters that are developed the most.
Kalan does get a new ally in Rory, which in fact means the family gets a new ally in him. He reminds me of Wrayan in more than the obvious ways, and I like him a lot. The other new character I really enjoyed was Tejay. How can you not love a sword wielding female character, who is breaking all the rules.
Then we have the two villains of the piece. Alija's is still a bitch, and Mahkas finally shows his hand and lets everyone in and how truly evil he is. I was going to try and make a rational argument for why Alija is worse than Makhas, how they have two different motivations at play, but then I realized that they really aren't that different. I think they try to justify their actions in different ways, but in the end, the are the same. They care about power and prestige, and that's about it. They both think life owes them something, and they are willing to do what it takes to make sure it happens.
Challenges: Password (Warrior)