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Corambis Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 7, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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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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"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

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 (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,863,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How many stars do you give a book that is well written but leaves you hungry? If you to see the brothers finally reach a point where they are comfortable together, you will be satisfied. If you want to see them settled where you feel they are where they want to be, you will not.

Corambis reads like an in-between book rather than a finale. The world the author has built is so detailed and rich, surely more stories could be found without inventing anymore background material. In fact there are several threads in the book that hint at new directions for exploration. There is an indigenous people with their own magical system. There are a number of new characters introduced that have their own stories to tell. The new voice of Kay Brightmore, the wounded soldier, is pointed in a new direction that would surely be a book in itself. (He is NOT the lover of Prince Gerrard Hume as stated in Publisher's Weekly review. It is unrequited love.) Then there is young Julian that sees ghosts. There is a young woman who is trying to become a wizard in a culture that doesn't believe women can do that.

The country of Corambis is safer than Mirador in some respects and but more conservative in others. It is subjugating a land, Caloxa, that has a different governing structure that doesn't suit Corambis.

I can understand if the author simply needs a break from the intensity of these books. I hope that someday she can return and pick up the threads again. I really wish the story would continue because the author has left them in a sort of limbo that is painful after the excitement they've lived with all their lives. Maybe they don't need to go out and start a war but the world the author has created has plenty of existing material to involve them in new adventures.
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