Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by NYCitygurl, Jun 28, 2007.
I'm about 2/3 of the way through.
The series has been odd. I rate the first book as 7.5/10, the second as 5/10, the third as 2.5/10. And then the fourth was a 6/10, the fifth... the first half of the fifth was 8/10, the second half 5/10. The sixth, so far, is 8.5/10. Which makes the sixth book - so far - the best yet.
There are some great shows of trust and love in the book. Good stuff.
Finished the book (again). After giving it a lot of thought, I'd rate it as 8/10. The middle sags a bit. Overall, best in the series. The final few chapters are heartbreaking, leading to one of the best "love conquers all" scenes I've read in a long, long time. The actual mechanics of the scene are mediocre, but the emotions are razor sharp.
The sex in the book took an interesting turn. I think that overall, the book probably had more sex than any of the other books, and it was closer to vanilla sex for the most part. But it became fairly ordinary, much better integrated into the overall plot than it's ever been in the series.
I need to read it a second time, but I think it's still not as good as Dart, and about even with Justice. I'll let you know when I finish (read the whole lot in 7 hours last time ).
The thing about Dart is, while it has the best plotline in the series, Carey's writing style was still taking shape. Her writing has improved, but she no doesn't have a plot to hook it on that's quite as good. Judged on its own merits, I firmly believe that Mercy is better than Dart, despite weaker slightly plotting - and Mercy has the best plotting since Dart.
Also, I need to give any book serious props for killing off all of the villains with a couple hundred pages left. It's pretty non-standard writing. Yes, I realize that the gem plotline kept things going, but still. Definitely not the easy choice to make.
Picked up my copy a few days ago. These books do not lend themselves to early nights. I stayed up until 4:30 for half a week reading the last one. And it was Good. I really got into this one, especially the feeling of helpless rage against Astegal and Bodeshmun. And the despair over what has happened to the City of Elua. Reading that bit near the end, I found myself wishing for Bodeshmun to come back, just so Imriel could kill him again. I felt really bad for poor Sidonie when they returned to the City. To know that you're losing a part of yourself, without knowing what part you're losing, must be terrifying. And I felt bad for Imri, having to watch his love slowly forget about him.
I'd rate Mercy as the best of the series, with Dart close behind. I prefer the second trilogy to the first. The Phedre books seemed to be all about Phedre and Joscelin saving the land from one threat or another, with the character exploration just along for the ride. Imriel's books do a much better job of getting inside Imri's head, his personal struggles against those who would hold him accountable for his mother's actions and against his own sense of shortcoming. Sure, Scion wasn't the most exciting book, but to me, it seemed that the book was as much Carey finding out who Imri was as it was Imri finding out the same. In a way, I can relate more to Imri than Phedre (at least in Scion), in that I'm always comparing myself to those around me and finding myself wanting. Of course, being of the same sex as the main character in a first-person story also helps a bit.
Anyway, now I need to read all six books again.
tl, dr: I'm with Cobranaconda on this: WANT MOAR.
I'd be up for the next set of stories to take place a few centuries later, when the heroes of the first trilogy (except maybe Hyacinthe) are long since dust and memory.
This thread does not get updated enough. *laughs* But I can't start a new thread so I guess I will just dig it up.
Anyway, I have read the first 4 books (ok, so I read slow...) and I really enjoyed the first and third book best. As a person who's parents left her at a young age, I feel Phedre's feelings towards her new family. I think these books have the most beautiful feel of family/love that I have ever read. They go beyond your traditional stand and embrace a view of family is who you embrace as such.
I was really surprised reading Dart, because I always thought I was the only person out there who found pain to be enticing and enjoyable.I grew up in a very sheltered environment.
I really hope others can see past the kink to enjoy the aspects of how Mel= passionate sexual love/lust and Jos=true love in the form of the altruistic sense.
Okay, fiiiiinally finished reading Mercy this morning.
It was good. Probably my favorite of the Imri books, though Dart is still my favorite. I agree, it was gutsy to kill the bad guys with over a hundred pages left - when they captured Astegal in battle, I kept thinking that he was going to escape or something.
It wasn't the plot I was expecting. I really did think that a great Melisande chase would commence and take up most of the book. I've been expecting that since I read Scion and Justice. So that was a bit surprising. I think the most ohmygoshwhat'sgoingtohappen bit for me was the part when Imri came out of his madness and learned that Sidonie had gone off to marry Astegal. This story definately didn't have the umph that the others did. I didn't spend much time on the edge of my seat. In Justice I was sitting on a couch, frantically reading and hoping that Dorelei was going to die. Nothing like that here. I'm really glad that everyone gets a happy ending (I hate unhappy endings) but there was some excitement missing for me. The end was pretty predictable (not the exact way with the stone in the tree and such, but the general what-happened). Overall, I prefer Phedre (less misery and whining, though I like Imri and Sidonie a LOT) and, as Raven pointed out, Dart had the best plot.
I did like that there wasn't a big journey, though. The farther they get from the City of Elua, the less I like it. The Saba trip and the trek through Vralia weren't very enjoyable for me.
Wish granted! She's planning a new trilogy to take place sometime in the future (all the current characters are merely legends), and could involve the Book of Raziel and/or the magic school. Naamah's Gift is set to be released next summer.
Kiss not Gift it turns out.
"The big news for me this month is that I've finished the manuscript of the first book in the new D'Angeline trilogy, now titled Naamah's Kiss. I don't have an official release date yet, but I imagine it will be out next summer. I'm happy with it, and I hope you'll all enjoy returning to Terre d'Ange (and beyond) through the eyes of a very different heroine. Did I mention that she's born to the Maghuin Dhonn and grows up in a cave? Yep. Very different! "
Quote from the author in September,
I am very excited. I am quite tired of the whole 'male' perspective >.<
I gotta say, I'm not as excited. I was happy when the second trilogy was published because I wasn't ready for the story to end, but I'm happy with the way Imriel's did. And I tend not to like far-future stuff anyway. It seems like she shoud quit while she's ahead (or at least take a big break to consider whether she really should continue this world) and work on something else for a bit.
Plus, it'll be sad that everyone is dust.
Interesting. When I call them, I call them.
Well, think of it as just another book from a very good author. She is sticking to her world she created because it is a useful and finished world. She can expand on it without sticking to the D'Angeline way of life and everything they do being based on love. Explore other emotions and lifestyles.
Personally I think it will be interesting to see where she goes with it.
Cannot wait. I want it
Oh, also, spoiler:
Some of it will take place in China, so by my reckoning that's further than mid-Africa. Hopefully the book won't suffer for it.
Yeah, I think I remember reading that. In addition to me not liking the far-future idea, during the first two trilogis, the farther they got from their home country, the less I enjoy that part of the story. Africa and Russia (or whatever they called it) were bad enough (and seemed, by my trying to measure on the map with my fingers, fairly equal distances); you really can't get farther from France than CHina.
I think New Zealand and Australia are a bit further, but oh well
Anyway, the main character is Alais' half Maghuinn Dhonn descendant living in Alba, so in this case I'm guessing measuring from the UK would be more accurate
By the time you get there, you're closer on the other side (and even if you're not . . . well, I never actually had a geography class and I suck at math, so pretend I'm making sense ).
That actually does interest me a little - the first bit that does. Do we know if Alais really did get together with Conor? And do we have a date for exactly how far in the future this is?
I keep going back and forth over whether I'm interested enough to keep reading. Right now I'm leaning toward no again. The dead thing is making me sad, and I dislike the parts of the stories where they're far away from Terre D'Ange.
Also, I can't remember if I've asked this, but has anyone read her duology? They're in a VERY different style, kind of like a twisted Lord of the Rings. I didn't really enjoy them, though (they were told from the perspective of the "bad guys" - the tag was "if everything good thinks you're evil, are you?" - that's probably not the direct quote, but close enough - anyway, the "bad" guys lost, the "good" guys never got any sort of new perspective, and the battle of the gods was unresolved). And the ending was a bit unconclusive, with one of the major players on the "bad" side surviving and making plans for the future. Not my kind of thing, but it's interesting because of the twist and the moral adn ethical questions of what is good and what is evil.
I read them. I enjoyed them. I liked how the story is told from a point of view that almost never gets shown, much less shown sympathetically. I really felt bad for the "bad guys." Well, all except the fat guy. He was the only one who seemed to wholeheartedly embrace the role thrust upon him by the rest of the world.
Oh, that's right. I dunno, I kinda liked him.
The Sundering wasn't as good as the Kushiel books. In retrospect, I think that it's because unlike the Kushiel books, they didn't try to challenge the status quo or push the envelope. The Kushiel books put eroticism front and center, made heavy use of alternate sexualties, and told a decent story. The writing itself was above average, but not by much. For better or worse, it was the sex that made the Kushiel books stand out.
The Sundering had above average writing, but not by much. It made a feeble effort at standing out by focusing on the "bad guys," but they were written so mildly that they didn't come across as bad guys at all. And further, they lost. If the series was really going to stand out, one of two things needed to happen. It either needed to be clear that the nominal good guys were in fact the bad guys, and when the nominal good guys won it was in fact evil winning. Or, the nominal bad guys as written needed to win.
I would have settled for whats-her-face the Elf princess taking up the role of Dark Lord at the end. As things ended, it just felt half-baked.
I just felt like no one really took much away from it. The Elf princess was changed a bit, but she still killed the god and she still married the king of men, so even though her time with the god and with his right-hand man changed her feelings a bit, they didn't change her actions. And the king never learned what transpired, the man still died without, iirc, doing anything about his feelings for the elf.
So, today I got and read Naamah's Kiss.
I'm still struggling to figure out whether I liked it or not. I'll probably give it a week and then give it another read through at a more leisurely pace.
Anyway, some spoilers:
Moirin is... not a very good character to hinge the books on. You couldn't help but love Phedre, and feel pity for Imri, but there's no real emotional bond to Moirin. The only real "tragic event" happens when her friend/lover dies, and even then it's not really touched on much. She's just... there. Other than her gifts, it's almost as if an impartial 3rd person is telling the story.
Anyway, the book can be quite easily split into 2 sections: Alba/Terre D'Ange and Ch'in. Both take up about half the book each. Both are really not related to each other. Instead of Phedre's heroics or Imri's escapism, Moirin starts travelling because her diadh-anam tells her to. It's flimsy as hell as a plot mechanism.
The first half of the book isn't that bad. It has some politics, intrigue, a very fun D'Angeline Queen, secret rites and a load of fluff. However, we are introduced to the most interesting character, a Chinese philosopher/physician whose name I've forgotten. He's probably the only thing that kept me reading for so long.
After being teased mercilessly by some of the One God's servants whom the secret society is trying to summon; and after healing a load of people miraculously, and spending half of the first 300 pages asleep/unconscious/in bed; we get moving to China.
No boring land journeys, just a long sea-voyage that makes no sense from a navigational standpoint (they're described as going around a continent's horn, then through something that sounds similar to Suez, but then going North to China. I can't think of any Canal's between the bottom of Africa and China, nor of any Continental horns between Marsilikos and the Suez), they get to China, where they're confronted by cannons. Shock horror. They have to save the Emperor's daughter who has been possessed.
By a ****ing dragon... [headdesk]
Cue some army battles, a bit of adventure, and all ends happily in lesbian sex.
Having said that, I probably enjoyed the China bit more than the first bit. Plus, for the first time, Carey has finished the book outside Terre D'Ange (Moirin's still in China at the end, headed for Tatar lands).
So, I have hope that the next two books will make up for this.
I really miss Phedre's autobiographical tone...
I think I might skip this. Plus, the Terre D'Ange stuff is my favorite. The farther they get from it, the less i like it.