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The Pyramids of London (The Trifold Age) (Volume 1) Paperback – February 28, 2015
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About the Author
Born in Sweden and raised in Australia, Andrea K Höst currently lives in Sydney. She writes fantasy, but wanders occasionally into science fantasy.
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Top customer reviews
The story begins as Arianne (Rian) Seaforth arrives to take service in the household of the vampire Lord Msrah following a lead in search of the people who murdered her brother and his wife (and to enable her to support their three children, who have been left in her care). Of course, complications ensue. The book stands on its own as the main plot points are nicely wrapped up by the end but plenty of questions remain to be addressed in the following books.
Ms. Host is an auto-buy for me, and this book certainly reinforced that opinion. Hopefully the next volumes won't take so long now that the heavy lifting of world creation has been done and she can concentrate on the story!
Plus, does Höst dislike cats? The fate of a kitten in this and the authorial abandonment of Ghost - her fate just left hanging - in the Touchstone series (when almost everyone else got a very detailed happy ending) make me wonder.
I'm really enjoying Hunting though (humour! witty banter!) so hey, your taste may very well vary. It's certainly worth giving anything by this author a go as everything I've read so far has been very different in setting, feel, and style.
But then the book took a turn I hadn't been expecting, and became a different kind of story altogether. We alternate POV between Rian and one of her three young charges, her niece Eluned. The children have adventures of their own. Rian leaves Lord Msrah's estate, and although Makepeace certainly plays an important role in the story, we don't see nearly as much of him as I had hoped.
The story was still good, just not what I had been expecting after the first couple of chapters reeled me in. We're taken along on the unraveling of a mystery on an international level, with interesting alternate history bits and awe-inspiring deities thrown into the mix.
I just really enjoyed the character of Heriath/Makepeace, and would have loved for the book to have brought us closer to him. The nature of his accidental relationship with Rian is quite compelling, and although we do see it develop a bit, I wanted more, MORE! We do get one really great scene that focuses on this toward the end, which I LOVED. I do realize there are five books planned in this series, and so there might be plenty more snippets for us about how those two continue to learn how to deal with one another. So chop, chop, Ms. Host!
On the pro side: the world is fascinating and its cultures and theologies are very complex.
The characters are decidedly unique and the relationships between them feel both real and layered.
The plot sparks and sustains the reader's interest once what's going on finally becomes clear - something that doesn't happen until several chapters into the book.
On the con side: the exceptionally dense world building creates a major obstacle for the reader, and the indices at the back of the book don't provide enough help in sorting things out.
My suggestions: move the indices to the front of the book and group entries by association, not just alphabetically. For instance, there are four distinct types of allegiance possible between gods and beings. The existing index lists them alphabetically by type, so they're all over the place, rather than having one entry titled 'allegiance' with subtitles for 'adopted', 'bestowed', 'born' and 'taken.' Characters should be listed by family, country or association, not by name. The entry on vampirism needs to explain more about how vampires are made and how they live, so the reader can understand Rian's experience in the early chapters and how being 'Bound' to Heriat will affect her and define her relationship with him.
Instead, the author leaves the reader to flounder in what's a very deep sea and it doesn't serve. After finishing the book and rereading the indices, I still have no answers to some of my questions about what happened in some parts of the book, and what some of the choices Rian and Eluned made will actually mean for them in the long term.
In short, however, it's a really good book if you can keep reading long enough to sort out the important parts of what's happening and who's who. It's very well written, the author's understanding of people is deeply rooted, and I ended up caring a lot about some of the main characters. It's mostly the mechanics of some things that still have me stymied, and I expect that future books will help me understand them better.
Most recent customer reviews
Good ideas in terms of world building, although in general, I found the...Read more