Okay, okay, I’ll stop sulking about UCLA losing to Florida in the NCAA championship game. But, still, you know, 2nd place…not too shabby. And hey, we beat LSU in the Final Four so, for the “person” who left the pro-LSU comment on an earlier post – how d’you like us now, eh?
Now, on to more important matters. Like the fact that I’m going on vacation. That’s right, I said it, vay-cay-SHUN, baby! And I’m going to get tan and drink frou-frou drinks to my heart’s content. Because the last few months have been hell on a stick and I deserve a break! So, before I go, and because I’ve been sadly lacking in this area for the last couple of weeks, here’s a teeny tiny book review to keep you busy until I get back.
Some time ago, I read the first book, “Mystic and Rider,” of Sharon Shinn’s new “Gillengaria” series. It was great. REALLY great. Had all the things I like in a book: interesting characters, good love story (without the overly-intimate anatomical details that I so detest), rich and varied world-crafting including mystery, political intrigue, religious persecution, etc. And I’m happy to say that the second book in the series, "The Thirteenth House,” lives up to the expectations set by the first book.
This second installment in the series focuses more closely on Kirra Danalustrous, a character from the first novel. Other characters make appearances but do not play as much of a primary role as they did in book one (i.e. Tayse and Senneth). We learn a little bit more about the mysterious princess, Amalie and her even more mysterious stepmother, Valri (although still not enough, dammit!). Love triangles, assassination attempts and an impending civil war all combine to provide action galore.
If I had a tiny complaint (and, as a card-carrying perfectionist, you know I always have to have at least ONE complaint), it’s that the ending of this book isn’t as satisfying as I would’ve liked. While it can definitely stand on its own, it’s quite clearly meant to be a bridge between the first book and whatever comes next. I would have liked to see a few more of the hinted-at “mysteries” of book one resolved here. There would have been PLENTY of material left over for the next book, believe me.
Also, I found the identity of the villain to be a bit obvious and yet, that could’ve still been effective if there had been a bit more resolution to that particular storyline. There was never a big confrontation scene between Kirra and the villain and I felt a bit let down by that. Again, maybe it’s being saved for the next book, but that seems an awfully long way away to have to wait for it. It should’ve been in THIS book, IMO.
Okay, evilness took over my brain there for a minute so...if anyone read that last bit that I just thought better of and edited out...um, sorry. And if you didn't read it, well, then this conversation never took place.
VAY-CAY-SHUN! VAY-CAY-SHUN! VAY-CAY-SHUN!
KJ - please pass the suntan lotion and could someone refresh my Cosmo, please?