Open confession time, intertings. After I posted my review of The Poison Throne and was halfway through Crowded Shadows, Celine Kiernan unmasked herself as a regular reader of the Done Read. Her exact words were ‘Fuck SAKE woman! Warn a body when you’re going to do that!!!’ and then she proceeded to admit that she never reads reviews of her work and was not going to start now (then?). Which, phew, because AUTHORS! You make me so nervous sometimes, with your reading of my words and your feelings about my feelings.
Fortunatmente (or, you know, whatever, since Celine doesn’t read these) Crowded Shadows was equally awesome, but UNfortunatemente The Rebel Prince didn’t come out until October and it was September at the time. I hadn’t been so settled in with a cast of characters in ages and every book that I read that wasn’t these felt stale. I complained about this with, I swear to you, no greedy intentions but Celine mercifully sent me a copy of The Rebel Prince AS WELL AS THE FIRST TWO and they are the lovely Australian edition and the covers make a Thing. See?
Bitchin. So you could say Celine bought this review with books. I mean, you’d be wrong, but that is a case you could make, and the FTC would like me to let you know you could make it. Judge accordingly.
Because The Rebel Prince did not disappoint, and I loved it pretty hard. All the good things about The Crowded Shadows? All the character development and sweetness and angst? All that plus some actual plot movement. SHIT GOES DOWN.
Where were we? Oh right. Wynter and Christopher and Razi are looking for Razi’s potentially traiterous brother so that they can reconcile him to Razi’s father before the kingdom goes to pot. But on the one hand there are serious political wranglings to be done and on the other hand you can’t swing a dead cat without someone wanting to kill you with that cat. Politics + murderous intentions = stress. Also, psychologically interesting conundrums. As much as these books are FULL OF KNIVES, I think they are more concerned with how unrest and such like affects the powers that be, and how as much as it sucks being machinated, sometimes it is worse when you are trying to machinate so that everyone is happy and no one is mutinous.
How much you are ultimately satisfied with this one will depend, I think, on how you like your tragedy. If you prefer it tepid and/or reneged on, this will not appeal, because several people die and they STAY DEAD. Which is exactly how I like mine. Scorching, but without the inevitable side of Beloved Animal Companion Death that I always feel sours the dish.
And it ENDS, which, in a fantasy series, is very important to me. Resolution, y’all. I heart it.
I heart this! Nine caterpillars.
Requisite ass-covering: received from the publisher. You may recall.