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Corambis Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 7, 2009

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, April 7, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The rambling conclusion to Monette's Mélusine fantasy quartet (after 2008's The Mirador) reveals the destiny of three exiles. Prince Gerrard Hume dies in an attempt to start the sinister Cymellunar engine, which he hoped would help win Caloxa's independence from Corambis. Blinded by the engine, Kay Brightmore, the margrave of Rothmarlin and the prince's illicit lover, is imprisoned by Corambis's duke of Glimmering. Meanwhile, far away in Bernatha, gay wizard Felix Harrowgate returns to prostitution to raise money when his half-brother becomes ill, but is gang-raped by Corambins in a ritual that restarts the Clock of Eclipses, another terrible Cymellunar device. Monette throws in numerous unsubtle lessons on love, lust and power, but for full effect, the intricate plot requires familiarity with prior installments. (Apr.)
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“Monette’s characters deserve a standing ovation.”
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover; 1 edition (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441015964
  • ASIN: B002IKLO2I
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,772,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A. J Terry on April 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me say about the four-book series: I don't require literature to be cozy. However, almost all the major characters are deeply emotionally and/or physically damaged, and can't get their minds on anything else for almost the entire length of every part of every book they narrate. When they're not narrating, someone else is describing their depression, self-destructiveness, serious physical illness and/or injury, etc. The series would be more effective if the characters got to enjoy themselves once in awhile; rather than the most relief being, currently they don't feel too awful though they know they will soon.

Corambis is apparently supposed to be about emotional healing. However, it's an extended therapy session where the characters are confessing everything readers have already known about for three books, and which these characters have confessed before to other characters. So, I've spent four books thinking, get over it, and get on to _doing_ something. I read this last book in the series in the hope that they would.

Especially, I wanted a happy ending for Felix who, apparently in his early 30s, still thinks and acts like an abused child. He's realized his half-brother Mildmay loves him--which considering how faithful Mildmay's been for four books, took much too long--but Felix wants a lover, a spouse. The author leaves even that question open, with three somewhat possible candidates with whom Felix would have had very different relationships. And really, is Felix going to be happy living a retired country life, considering his few pleasures used to stem from a sophisticated urban and palace environment? What about Mildmay, whose only goal in life has become to follow and support his brother--doesn't he deserve something for himself?
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Jacobs VINE VOICE on April 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The best thing about this final book in Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths is the brand-new character Kay Brightmore. Given how I felt about the other three books in the series--namely, that they were by far the best thing going in fantasy today--this actually constitutes something of a tragedy. (Mild spoilers follow.)

Gone are the fraught and mysterious magical doings, the unexpected and dangerous situations Mildmay and Felix used to stumble into practically every time they turned a corner, the spiky and fascinating relationship between the half-brothers. In place of these things we get brief and unsatisfying showdowns with a giant stomping robot and a bad-tempered clockwork octopus, and a lot of hand-wringing about Felix's emotional state.

Mildmay's character is flat; whereas he used to have his own side projects, not to mention his own excruciating emotional struggles, he has at this point become something more akin to a traditional (and hence uninteresting) sidekick. One would have thought, as a result of his having recovered from his Strych-induced amnesia at the end of book three, that Mildmay might have had a few issues of his own he'd need to resolve in this volume. Apparently not, as his only role here is to act as a sounding board for Felix and patch up his half-brother's clothes and socks. Felix, for his part, works hard on rehabilitating himself. This is something he certainly needs to do, but the process (which involves a lot of confessionals to other characters, including various recitals of his difficult sexual history) was unconvincing, as it required Felix to abandon his dignity completely and repeatedly.

I have a lot of respect for Ms. Monette's abilities as a writer, but this book just doesn't live up to the rest of the series.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By April on July 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Exiled in the last (third) book, the wizard Felix and his long-suffering half-brother, former thief and assassin, Mildmay, travel to the distant land of Corambis where Felix must submit himself to the will of a council of wizards. Corambis has been in the midst of a civil war, the abrupt ending of which seems to have heralded the awakening of various strange and deadly mechanisms.

A new character, Kay Brightmore, Margrave of Rothmarlin, was at the center of the fighting for the freedom of his lands from the rule of the Corambins. In an act of desperation, he and the leadership of the rebellion sought to awaken the powers of the mechanism of Summerdown, to disastrous effect.

Corambis is so far from Felix and Mildmay's city of Melusine, that much knowledge has never spanned the distance. Felix has some idea of the powers at work and has the ability to safeguard the world from them, but he's hobbled by the will of the council.

In the meantime, the brothers need to sort out their relationship and see if they will be able to forge a new life in this strange land. They cross paths with Kay and with many other characters along the way.

All the characters are well-drawn and fascinating, and the land of Corambis, with its technology (trains!) and differing views of magic, is also worthy of exploration. This forth and final book in the Doctrine of the Labyrinth series (beginning with _Melusine_--the books are best read in order) makes for a satisfying conclusion.
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