- File Size: 1102 KB
- Print Length: 444 pages
- Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (July 29, 2008)
- Publication Date: July 29, 2008
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001ANYEK8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,964 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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She also tries to fill in missing areas for Felix and Mildmay. It's is too little too late in some areas - retconning motivations for things that happened in the previous book don't help much. It leaves some huge elephants in the room. One, the slave bond between Felix and Mildmay, which never made sense (she didn't develop it as being a viable alternative and didn't explore any other reasons until now). Two, the relationship between Felix and Gideon, which she never injected with any intimacy or passion or anything that would make us think of it as a love bond, even a broken love bond. It was treated as mostly Gideon being a sucker for punishment.
The elephants keep this from being a great book, but it's a better book.
Now let's talk about who decided that $18.99 was a fair price for an e-book for the next volume? I ordered a used copy of the paperback for $0.90. If the ebook had been $5.99 I would have bought it and the author would have gotten a cut, but instead the small audience is forced to recycle the initial print copies.
I honestly can't imagine who pays $20 for old release ebooks that are available used, which can't even be resold.
With Mildmay, also well-drawn, I had a similar difficulty. He comes across as a little too much of a doormat. Not only with Felix but with a lot of other characters, too. He can be strong, but I kept wishing that with his skills as a fighter and assassin he would be a tad tougher.
All said, I still loved the book and the series. I'd recommend it to anyone.
There's not as much pure adventure in this novel as there is in its two predecessors, which is inevitable given the fact that the action takes place entirely in Melusine. Nor does this book exhibit the solid emotional core that made _The Virtu_ such a joy to read--the complicated, fascinating relationship between Mildmay and Felix. While that certainly still exists, it is neither explored nor developed. Felix has lapsed back into his nasty, self-centered ways, and is backsliding by degrees on the promise he made to his brother not to use their magical bond against him. Mildmay is stuck, for most of the novel, in exactly the same amnesiac place he occupied when _The Virtu_ ended. And there are very few scenes in the book that involve only the two brothers. You understand why they're being so cautious, and yet so careless, with each other, yet you can't help but feel frustrated by the distance between them. You hope for better, but you never get more than occasional echoes of the intensity that characterized their journey back to Melusine.
All that aside, the plot does move with its expected intricacy from point A to point B, Mehitabel's character emerges from the shadows, Mildmay continues to exhibit his extraordinary talent for finding his way through mazes both literal and figurative, and Felix narrowly escapes the gruesome fate planned for him by his enemies. By the time the book ends you do have reason to hope that life is going to improve for the brothers, which I suppose is about as much in the way of optimism as one can expect from such a dark, painful novel.
This is an excellent read. The book won't make any sense if you try to start with it, though, so begin at the beginning with _Melusine_ if you haven't already. And if you've visited Ms. Monette's world before, by all means keep going with it. It's very much worth your time.