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The King of the Crags: The Memory of Flames, Book II Hardcover – February 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
This bleak sequel to 2010's The Adamantine Palace holds up a dark mirror to companion animal fantasies. The aristocrats treat their dragons as prized pets, little knowing that the creatures are intelligent, capable of speech, and only controlled with harsh drugs and brutal training. As the escaped white dragon Snow plots to free her imprisoned fellows, the usurping Queen Zafir and her equally amoral lover, Prince Jehal, take power and immediately turn on each other. An array of conspirators rises up against them, led by exiled Princess Jaslyn and the veteran dragonmaster Hyrkallen. In this cold world, alliances are formed for revenge, comfort, ambition, and religious revelation, but never true affection. Fans of grim epic fantasy will find these intrigues engrossing. (Feb.)
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About the Author
Stephen Deas is the author of the acclaimed short story “The Snow Fox.” The Adamantine Palace (Volume I of The Memory of Flames Trilogy) is his first novel. He lives in southeast England with his wife and two children.
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I quite enjoyed The Adamantine Palace. It was a great mix of action, dragon flights and political intrigue. The King of Crags maybe focuses a little too much on the dragon flights and the intrigue.
Stephen Deas is a great writer. His prose is clear and just fun to read, and he paints some amazing images of mountains and soaring dragons. But they're not terribly exciting.
Much of the book seems to be people arguing about going to war, rather than actually going to war. And while this (for the most part) is done quite well, it felt very drawn out.
About a third of way in, I got excited. The King of Crags had arrived. Then nothing. He's an old man who falls asleep through a meeting. The book would have been better named, The King of Furymouth, as the main character is obviously Jehal.
Jehal. Are we meant to feel sorry for him? I did a little. But he brings so much of his trouble on himself. I'd rather have read more about Kemir and Snow, but much of those chapters are very similar (almost too similar) to the Kemir and Snow chapters of book 1.
Reading back over this review, it sounds like I didn't like King of the Crags. So why give it 4 stars? Well I did like it. It was a fun, fast read and I enjoyed it.
The problem? King of Crags is very much a "middle-of-the-trilogy" kind of book. There's a lot going on but nothing really happens.
Stephen Deas is a great fantasy writer and one that I will definitely continue to follow. Here's looking forward to book 3.
Because there was a lengthy pause between purchasing Books I and II, I re-read Book I to familiarize myself with the characters and plot and discovered something I hadn't realized the first time around. Now, for those of you that may be having difficulty with these books due to PLOT(s), let me give you a major Aha! moment, think Lord of The Rings. Not because the story(s) is similar, but because of the different plot lines that traveled simultaneously parallel to each other and yet where very much a part of the story.
If you recall in LOTR, there where many characters that once they meet they all go their separate ways to achieve the same goal. And in the movie we watch how each goes about doing their tasks. In both books - Memory of Flames - the same occurs. We are introduced to characters from different "families" and go along in their ventures as they attempt to survive incidences that are either predestined or manipulated by others, to achieve a final "cause". We the reader are witnesses to each of their occurrences, and we have to appreciate what happens wether we like it or not. Now that that's put in perspective somewhat, I hope it helps you move through the books.
"King of Crags" is truly a remarkable tale full of intrigue and mystery. Don't get too wrapped up on the title, it's my belief that it's a set up for Book III though I could be wrong.
One last note, I really like how this author takes important characters and uses them to their maximum potential and leaves the reader agasht in how they are manipulated. It's brilliant that we as a reader can become so invested in a character and not realized their value in a plot or story line when something happens to them until much later. I love how this author used the reader to impose emotion in character importance where there was none, and yet our emotions continue to drive the story forward because we insist that vengeance must be served.
Book III is already out in Europe, but I'm holding out until 2012 because I want the cover that matches the other two books.
Personally I love the series Memory of The Flames!
This book takes up where the very stale, "Adementine Palace" ends at. This book has more detail and added history necessary to understand the trilogy also it has the one thing the first book is lacking A MAP!
The story starts off with Zafir as Speaker of the Realms, and that is enough for all the chaos to break forth. Snow, is just being Snow, eating people, trying to regain her memory, going back and forth with Kemir, and trying to formulate a plan to liberate the dragons from the power of oppressive mankind.
Jehal, is Jehal and has a roller coaster adventure in this tale. The addition of The Night Watchman and other intrigue as the realms head for total war.
The most interesting character, "The King of Crags" shows up for a little bit and committs to a major action.
Rider Semian goes mad, which made the book difficult to read as it focuses on him and the, "Red Riders" a bit too much, but once it weaves it's way through their portion of the story it takes off.
Better depth than the first book.