Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: Box Office Poison, by Phillipa Bornikov

316 pp.

Box Office Poison is a slight departure from the urban fantasy/paranormal romance cocktail of first person narrative, female character in some kind of criminal justice field, supernatural romantic interest with possible triangle. (It is also apparently the second book in a series, though I only found this out from the blurbs on the back of the book.) In this case, our heroine is Linnet Ellery, a human lawyer working for a vampire law firm. The basic set up is “at some point in the past all the supernatural beings decided to come forward and reveal their hidden presence.” In this case the supernatural beings are werewolves, vampires and elves.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review: Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler

 304 pp.

Sea Change is essentially one of those fairy tales where the protagonist must negotiate a series of deals in order to obtain his or her objective. Our Heroine is a young woman named Lilly whose home life is best described as dysfunctional and estranged. Her only friend is a kraken named Octavius. When he turns up missing, this leads to a sequence of events where Lilly is forced to leave home and go on a quest to find him.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Book Review: Heir of Autumn by Giles Carwyn and Todd Fahnestock

466 pp.

Heir of Autumn is the first book of a fantasy series. This not only the first book in the series, but also the first book written by these authors. First novels always seem to be at least a little awkward. The writer or writers haven’t quite hit the tone they were aiming for, the prose or dialog might be a little stiff, the pacing might be off. Even if the writer has previously been published, the first novel is often immediately recognizable as a first novel. It is sometimes difficult for me to like a first book for these reasons, and I think that might be part of the reason I did not like this particular book.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book Review: Limits of Power by Elizabeth Moon

492 pp.

Limits of Power begins with a continuation of the scene where Echoes of Betrayal ended. The elves are extremely alarmed to find that their Lady has been slain and immediately jump to the conclusion that the humans are at fault. (For an Elder Race they are very good at jumping to conclusions and very bad at critical thinking.) Kieri is able to straighten things out eventually, and in the course of the investigation discovers that the palace has a security breach of sorts: secret magical patterns that elves can use to enter or leave the castle, which is how the evil “iynisin” elf managed to enter the castle to attack the Lady. 

While Kieri works on figuring out how to help the elves and get important information from them, Dorrin and Beclan adjust to their new relationship and his new position as Dorrin’s heir. This is a very stressful time for Beclan, and an even more stressful time for Beclan’s relative Camwyn, who is pretty sure he’s caught magery somehow. It turns out that Camwyn is not alone in this sudden epidemic of magical ability. The Marshal General of the Order of Gird discovers that a child was murdered because of a suddenly appearing magical ability. This horrifies the Marshal and creates a political uproar because of a schism in the Order over what to do about mages, and if mage-magic should be considered “evil.”

Other plot threads follow Arvid who is continuing his journey of self-discovery, Stammel who becomes the Blind Archer one last time and Arcolin, whose job has become more complicated. There are also new plot threads appearing in the form of an elf king who would like everyone to get out of Kolobia, and that includes the mages frozen in stasis. The elf king gets sent around to various places because no one actually knows how to remove the spell. (The elf king doesn’t seem to realize that unfreezing the mages would cause a large number of problems such as what to do with them. Once again, it is clear that elves do not have critical thinking skills.) On top of that, the mysterious suite of crown jewels continues to nag Dorrin and anyone else it can make listen. The jewels seem to want someone to go to Old Aare, a land that is now entirely a wasteland, and fix it. (It is also apparently password protected because it keeps saying people are asking it the wrong questions.)

This was a very busy book with intertwining narratives and plots. Despite the complexity, it was easy to follow and extremely entertaining. There were some unexpectedly humorous moments and some really great character interactions. This was one of those books that are so engaging I ended up reading it cover to cover several times, and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book.    

Limits of Power (Paladin's Legacy) on Amazon
Limits of Power (Paladin's Legacy) on Powell's Books