OK, folks – I finally caught up on this book. The discussion questions for Part 4 are up on Goodreads for any and all to join at any time. Once again, I would like to thank Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings for hosting this read along and introducing me to yet another awesome book.
Here I plan to go over just some of my basic impressions of the book, but I won’t be covering the specific questions asked on the Goodreads group. There will be some spoilers below for the book, but I will follow up with a spoiler-free review.
Wow! Citrhin grew so much in this one book. It was great to watch her go from this sheltered innocent to an independent business woman. She definitely had some hard knocks that stole the wind from her sails along the way, but luckily Marcus Wester and others were around to give assistance. I especially like how Wester refused to let her piss her life away in drink and self-pity. Good for him.
Geder is turning into quite a twisted man. In the beginning, he was this bumbling, socially awkward nerd who I was rooting for. Alas, one too many jokes, one too many times being used, and he snapped. I had hopes for a while that the burning of Vanai would be the pinnacle of his evilness (I think it would for most villains, right?) and he could settle into some scholarly career in a nice country home where he wouldn’t be tempted or pushed into doing further harm. Alas, we’ve seen little glimpses that indicate to me that he likes having power over others, even if that is done/attained in an unhealthy fashion (I’m thinking of his little conversation with Phelia in particular).
Let me couple that with Basrahib. Initially, I thought of him as some isolated mountain holy man, but that little episode with Phelia and Master Kit’s reaction later on have my hackles raised. I know I need, and it is a definite need, to read Book 2 to learn more.
The world building was very interesting; having the mix of the different humanoid races along with the banking systems was a different way to put an epic fantasy setting together. I think it was easier for me to pick up the basics of the banking subplots over remembering the particulars of all the different races. Though by the end I was able to picture characters in my head with scales or boar’s teeth or hairy pointed ears, etc.
The Goodreads experiment for a read along was interesting. Some things I liked – such as being able to have 1 big stream of discussion. However, I think I like the visuality of bouncing around to all the different participating blogs. I like to see what people put into it, such as cover art, fan art, silly pics with pets, etc. I also found myself not reading everyone’s comments on the Goodreads group, whereas on a blog I usually read everything a person puts up on the read along post. I am not too sure why; again, it might be the visuality of it. Can my eyes become visually bored with something without my permission? At any rate, it was very cool of Carl to run this read along and I did have a good time, and I especially enjoyed the book.