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Crown of Vengeance (The Dragon Prophecy Trilogy) Hardcover – November 13, 2012
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“A thoughtfully created world, engaging characters, and a tighter plot than many fantasy epics make this new novel a must-have.” ―VOYA on The Phoenix Unchained
“Lackey and Mallory combine their talents for storytelling and world crafting into a panoramic effort. Filled with magic, dragons, elves, and other mythical creatures, this title belongs in most fantasy collections.” ―Library Journal on To Light a Candle
“Delightful.” ―Booklist on The Outstretched Shadow
About the Author
MERCEDES LACKEY and JAMES MALLORY have written the Enduring Flame trilogy, which includes the New York Times bestseller The Phoenix Transformed, and the Obsidian Trilogy: The Outstretched Shadow, named Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror by VOYA; To Light a Candle, a USA Today bestseller; and When Darkness Falls, a New York Times bestseller. Lackey lives in Claremore, Oklahoma. Mallory lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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But as far as I'm concerned, those aren't drawbacks, they're part of a really gorgeous style. After all, this book is about elves who live for a millennium, and the slow, deliberate pace of the opening portion of the book really gives you the flavor of the way these elves think. They don't look at things in terms of this year or next year -- they look at things in terms of this CENTURY or next. So when the action really starts to pick up, and Viellesar announces that she's going to have the whole elven world unified in less than a single year, you can feel just how shocking that would be for those around her.
The writing is ornate, yes, but again, that reflects the culture that Lackey and Mallory are describing. These Elves are deeply, profoundly bound in formality, in observing the niceties down to a hair and in doing everything in just the right way. They aren't the peaceful artists of the later trilogies -- lordy, no, they're warlike and even brutal, but even in war and brutality they are elegant, following convoluted rules of honor.
I also really like it that Mallory and Lackey don't feel the need to make the book "realistic" by putting women in a subservient position just because it's set in old-timey days. These are long-lived pointy-eared non-humans in a fantasy setting, why SHOULDN'T the women be equal to the men? Who says they have to share human prejudices? The Elves clearly have their own massive, glaring societal issues, which the book highlights nicely, but it's a very refreshing change to be handed a medieval-type society that doesn't repress its women.
Overall, this book is a great one, and if you want a book you can sink your teeth into and enjoy instead of just blazing through, this one's for you. Love it, have read it many times over, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next one.