- File Size: 816 KB
- Print Length: 379 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: June 17, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00L1V2ID4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,486 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Grand Masquerade (The Scions of War Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 379 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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Now, Eldredge has just released the second book in the series, The Grand Masquerade, and while there are a few seafaring chapters, the bulk of the story takes place on land. This story is, if anything, even more reminiscent of GRRM's storytelling, but in all the ways in which GRRM's books make for great, highly engaging reads. An assassination during a masquerade ball, coupled with the fallout from the events of the first book, results in nobles and generals maneuvering against each other for the fate of four nations. Knights charge home with lances couched and blades held high, as warships hurl deadly incendiaries and flights of arrows at each other in massive fleet actions ending the lives of thousands. War on a grand scale is always difficult to get right, but in this book, Eldredge has done an excellent job of making the narrative thrilling and fast-paced, but at the same time, delivered with great attention to detail.
Of course, trapped between the crushing jaws of nation-states locked in mortal combat, protagonists Martyn, Arycke, and Starissa try to stay alive and one step ahead of their foes, no mean feat in a world where no good deed goes unpunished, and death can come at any time, in any form, and from any direction. A number of major and minor characters get ground into mince-meat by the wheels of war and politics during this novel, and I found myself turning the pages as quickly as I could during the most intense moments, hoping that characters I enjoyed would make it through a particularly perilous scene. More often than not...my hopes were dashed to bits, like a skull shattered by a warhammer.
If you like grim, hard-hitting fantasy fiction that doesn't need to rely on elves, dragons, and fireballs to get the job done, I think you'll really enjoy The Grand Masquerade. Although it can be read on its own, you're better off reading The Pirates of Alnari first, as the events of the first book lead directly into the second, and if you're not up to speed, it might be a little overwhelming.
There are a lot of different moving pieces and story lines in this book, so instead of trying to do more of the same of the first book. The Author basically, takes for granted the reader understands the basics of the world from the first book (so reading the first book Pirates of Alnari will allow you to get a lot more out of this book). I loved this as it allows the author to take the story to the next level. You have get everything one can think of in this time period setting from a masquerade party to assassinations of multiple rulers to war. The main part of the story is you have one nation state manipulating 2 powerful nations states by using a 3rd nation (who is trying to rebuild them selves to back stab all the other nations) into war. Once that is done the manipulator nation invades one of the powerful nations for revenge of a war they lost like 20 years earlier. All throughout this you have the same 2 cousins (who are separated and so have their own story lines), trying to protect those they care about and survive in regional multi-nation war.
There are some minor spoilers below.
The main characters from "The Pirates of Alnari", cousins Arycke and Martyn, are featured in this book as well, but additional main characters are brought forward, and each one is fascinating to follow. Arycke, the shallow young man looking for a good time, finds danger when he gets involved in court politics. Martyn's sincerity at doing right by his university patron leads him into some of the most dangerous fights of his life. Dorian captains his ship into one of the biggest naval battles the characters have ever seen. Vismalion attempts to restore Alnari after the events of the previous book. All of these events are fall-out from the plotting of Karleo and others who desire conquest and revenge for atrocities years past. These various situations are presented with realistic detailing, but without getting bogged down. Events move quickly, leading to an ending that left me wondering impatiently when the next book would be appearing.
I definitely recommend this book as a sequel that surpasses and enhances the first, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series!