I would say – not her best work. People are never as interesting once they’re all kissy-face. Vicky and John have much I&D, as usual, and it was charming how Elizabeth Peters put herself in the book. I want to be Elizabeth Peters’s friend because she has read all the same trashy novels that I have read (like The Sheik! and she knows the bravest-by-far-in-the-ranks-of-the-Shah-damn-the-girl-she’d-been-laughing-at-him-all-the-time song!). And Schmidt is the greatest swordsman in Europe. And that’s about all I have to say about that.
My amazing sister went and bought me a copy of this before it was supposed to come out (which was today, I guess). Foolish Books-a-Million (not my bookstore chain of choice) put it on the shelves before its release date, and brilliant Anna bought us each a copy. Joy!
Darling Alec, darling Seregil, I support their relationship so much! They are so much more satisfying than Ki and Tamar turned out to be (although I strongly supported that relationship also)! And now they’ve – um. You know. Returned. As the title may have implied to you.
What had happened was: They’re back in Rhiminee, doing all petty thieving, and then, omg, the Nasty Army Chick Queen sends them on a mission to fetch her little sister away from Aurenen, and while they’re off trying to accomplish the mission they are totally kidnapped! And separated! And sold into slavery! Because a very, very wicked man wants Alec’s blood because of how he’s half Hazadrielfaie, and he makes a creepy thing with Alec’s blood, and meanwhile Seregil’s old! wicked! treacherous! lover comes back and is a great big poop to Seregil.
Yes, since you ask, I was looking forward to this more than I realized. I was enchanted to have Seregil’s old!wicked!treacherous! lover showing up at last, though I would be happier if he seemed in any way lovable (right, right, the younger guy’s flattered by the older dude’s attentions, na na na, but does he have any pleasant qualities at all, ever?), and I was very pleased that people are finally interested in Alec’s creepy ‘faie tribe. Lynn Flewelling’s been such a tease about that up until now. People would bring it up, and I’d be like YES LORD WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT IT, and then they’d veer away from the subject, and it was exactly like Cold Comfort Farm at the end when Aunt Ada’s talking with Flora and then she turns around to answer an question about cows. So I was glad that we’re having some serious focus on that.
I read this book in about an hour and a half. I actually was having serious difficulty putting it down. Every time I had to put it down, I felt like I was peeling my eyeballs off the page. (You’re very welcome; I’m glad I could share that delightful image with you.) And then I finished it and I felt really sad because it’s going to be another several months before more books come out that are nothing but total pleasure and joy. I should have read it more slowly and enjoyed it more thoroughly. Like when I was reading one issue of Sandman a day (until I got too suspensey in the middle of A Game of You and totally abandoned the whole one-a-day scheme).
My one major complaint was that there was not enough chicanery. I like Seregil because of all the mad chicanery he carries on. Chicanery! Also, it’s a nice word. But this book was not big on the chicanery. Everyone escaped in the end, but they weren’t doing a bunch of sneaky clever cunning things.
Oh, and I just want to say, for the record, Thero and Klia? No. That’s a big fat sack of – NO. I vote NO to that relationship. I have it on record and I will not back down, just like that time I said I forever hated Ben on Felicity and the writers would never ever be able to make me like Ben better than Noel with the cute eyebrow tic. (Er, but then they did.)