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Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Two for Once Upon a Time
Last month I read Jeff Wheeler's The Queen's Poisoner (reviewed here) and thoroughly enjoyed it. This month, NetGalley offered the second in the Kingfountain series: The Thief's Daughter!
Once again, I immersed myself in the fantasy (and alternate history) of the KingFountain series. Owen Kiskaddon and Elysabeth Victoria Mortimer (Evie) have grown up, and their childhood friendship has deepened into something more. King Severn likes and trusts them both, but his plans do not include sacrificing political aims for the happiness of his young subjects.
The alternate history aspect continues in this fantasy when a pretender to King Severn's throne has gathered important alliances that threaten war. Owen and Evie feel both loyalty and duty to Severn, but what he expects of them requires subjugating their own hopes.
Interesting that the title is The Thief's Daughter because although Etayne, the young woman who is now the King's Poisoner and part of the Espion, has an important part to play, she is not the focus of the novel. Wheeler has introduced an important character, but reserves her major role for later in the series.
I would recommend reading The Queen's Poisoner first and then following up with The Thief's Daughter just so you can have the backstories of the characters. I can't wait for the next in the series!
Fantasy. May 31, 2016. Print length: 366 pages.
The Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan is continues the saga of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn, the warrior and thief who make up Riyria. All the books in the Riyria Revelations are made up of two novels, each with an overarching storyline, but each book has a sense of completion. The Theft of Swords (reviewed here) combines books 1 and 2; The Rise of Empire combines books 3 and 4.
I really like the way the description can again be narrowed down to three sentences: A puppet is crowned. The true heir remains hidden. A rogue's secret could could change everything.
Oh, poor puppet. I won't add anything to this in case you decide to read, but this was a worrying aspect for me.
The true heir does remain hidden from the Church of Nyphron and from the reader. I had several possibilities that came to naught.
Once more, Sullivan provides well-developed characters, shifting the emphasis somewhat from one set of characters to another as the epic expands. The secondary characters (I especially like Amilia and Nimbus) are also interesting in their own right, not simply as a means to advance the plot.
Some action packed adventures, the threat of a rising storm, characters that continue to develop, and the great banter between Royce and Hadrian--all kept me glued to the "pages" as I whirled through this one.
High Fantasy. 2011. Print length: 802 pages (but remember it is actually two books).
Two more fantasies for Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge.