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Emissary: Percheron Book Two (Percheron Series) [Paperback]

Fiona McIntosh
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 Jan 2008 Percheron Series (Book 2)

Odalisque Ana is resigned to life in Percheron's famed harem and has little more than a blood-soaked veil to remind her that Spur Lazar, the man she loves, is dead. What's more, she is closely watched by the scheming Grand Master Eunuch, Salmeo, and the cunning and cruel Valide Herezah. The Valide, unhappy at Ana's influence over the young Zar, contrives a shrewd plan to bring about the beautiful young woman's demise. But greater forces are at work . . .

The demon Maliz has taken the guise of Percheron's Grand Vizier in order to stalk Iridor, the traditional accomplice of the Goddess. And a war is brewing. A long-time enemy, Galinsea, intends to exact a vicious blood price for the death of its crown prince, Lucien, at the hands of the Percherese.

And the only person in the Stone Palace who can undertake the dangerous journey to Galinsea and negotiate for peace is about to die . . .

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Emissary: Percheron Book Two (Percheron Series) + Goddess: Percheron Book Three (Percheron Series) + Odalisque: Percheron Book One (Percheron Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (24 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841494615
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841494616
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 382,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Originally from Brighton, Fiona McIntosh moved to Australia in her teens and forged a successful career in travel - running a business with her husband - before becoming a writer. She continues her work and on top of this not only writes at least two books a year, but also spearheads the Fab Fantasy Bookclub - Australia's premier fantasy bookclub. She lives in southern Australia with her husband, her two lovely sons, two mad dogs and two insane birds.

Product Description


Spiced with exotic Eastern flavours. . .it's gruesome, magical and sweet in equal measures. (SFX )

A real page turner. . .an exciting read. (MyShelf )

Book Description

The second book in Fiona McIntosh's compelling new fantasy trilogy, mixing political intrigue and page-turning action

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Without Lazar's guiding hand and presence, the Stone Palace of Percheron has become a different place. Young Zar Boaz, mistrusting of his mother, Herezah, but too inexperienced to stand on his own, seeks counsel from the suddenly changed and secretive Vizier, who has a sinister agenda of his own.

As Herezah privately grieves for Lazar, she hatches an audacious plot to destroy the odalisque Ana, who flouts the rules of the harem but has found a measure of protection in having caught the eye of Zar Boaz. And Ana shoulders a tremendous burden of guilt as she matures from a beautiful girl into a stunning young woman... and fears what her future in the harem might hold.

Yet Lazar, unbeknownst to nearly everyone in the palace, is slowly recovering on a secret island. As he struggles to return to health, war from a distant realm threatens Percheron, and, as the cyclical battle of the gods continues to build, the first of the Goddess's disciples falls into the grip of the demon Maliz.

Fiona McIntosh has a really bad habit of ending with a cliff-hanger, which gets rather tedious once you realise that all her books are like that. It's a shame too, because if it hadn't been for that, I would probably have rated this book higher than I did. The writing has improved from the first book in the series, and the characters are becoming much more complex. I enjoy Ana's no-nonsense way of handling Herezah, and found myself almost liking Maliz, now that he's abandoned all of Tariq's most annoying traits.

Fiona McIntosh isn't afraid of killing off her characters, but there was one death in this book that seemed completely pointless. I hope this will prove to be an "interesting assumption" and that the reasons will become apparent in the next book in the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing on the eye but no real depth 17 Sep 2010
I probably should have reviewed "Odalisque" as the opener of the trilogy but one cannot have everything when finishing one book and moving straight onto the next with a quick pause to refill the coffee mug...
What I like about McIntosh is the author's decision to restrict both scene and character numbers. It's almost Agatha Christie in the relationship shifts that have to be puzzled out. The entertaining edge is not created by quick-fix shock value rather - though we do have a fair few barbaric methods of dealing out death in a society that is painfully carefree with its value of human life - through the development of ever-shifting politics within the world of Percheron's harem.
So, to the plot. With Lazar back from the dead as Lucien, Crown Prince of Galinsea, and (Ly)Ana stubbornly refusing to toe the line Herezah and Salmeo have decreed we rush anxiously as Boaz moves to become the Zar we know he can be. Meanwhile, the demon Maliz is conspiring and conjecturing in his role as Grand Vizier Tariq. McIntosh has decided on an early dénouement, throwing all the antagonistically-vying characters into one place. She achieves this with Ana's ill-fated and gullible attempt to escape impending nuptials resulting in her ceremonious dumping in a silken bag at the bottom of the river. Literally saved by the kiss of life by her Prince (note that Kett doesn't quite qualify for the same kiss) her fortunes reverse with breathtaking speed and she becomes both Boaz's wife and Percherese emissary in a few scant hours. All of which means that Pez, Lazar (Lucien), Tariq, Ana, and Herezah find themselves heading towards Galinsea to prove that Percheron hadn't executed its Crown Prince in "Odalisque".
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3.0 out of 5 stars very hard reading 11 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
it's hard work reading her books though once you've bought the 1st in a series you have to get the rest to find out what happens in the end.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish Series 12 July 2010
I finished the last in this series a few days ago and I've been stewing ever since. This is my first Amazon review and I'm doing this because I want to spare you the grief/rage you might feel once you've read them all. Before I proceed I must say Fiona McIntosh is a great writer. She uses language well and draws you into the story, making you care about the characters. For the most part her characters are fleshed out and at least a few of her villains go beyond being one dimensional. But I suspect she may have been on some kind of medication when she wrote these - medication that makes her want to inflict pain on others. Because by the very end the best phrase I could come up with to describe the experience was "suicide inducing". Yes, it was that depressing.

The first book (obalisque) had a frustratingly retarded ending. The second, (emissary) could have been cut in half. There was just too much of it, with lots of unnecessary bits. The third (goddess) was better than the 2nd simply because you knew she had to finally stop writing now so you were at least assured of some story conclusion.

I wanted to kick her in the shins by the end. I wanted to ask why she made us care about the characters if she was going to demolish them emotionally? All the main characters felt so much pain and had no fulfillment from their lives that at the end I wished someone would have warned me. So that's what I'm doing, warning you. if you end up buying these books (and note, if you want any kind of plot resolution you have to read to the bitter end of the 3rd book) then I throw up my hands, for I cannot be blamed.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spend The Money. 7 Jan 2008
By Danis - Published on Amazon.com
This review isn't a book report covering the novel's plot lines. The publisher's done a good enough job with that already with the section for "Book Description". However if you're looking for an opinion while considering, "Should I buy this book?" Well, I'm offering my opinion.

Do you enjoy "Robin Hobb"? Or J.V. Jones? Tad Williams? If you've read and enjoyed any of their Novels you will thoroughly enjoy this new series by Ms. McIntosh. Start with the first one, "Odalisque" but go ahead and spend your money. It won't be wasted. And If you haven't read any of those other authors, give them a try also. They all offer solid top notch genre fantasy that won't disappoint.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile and fascinating 4 Dec 2007
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
EMISSARY marks the second installment of The Percheron Saga, Fiona McIntosh's daring shift from the standard fantasy that the majority of readers tackle, into the shifting sands of a more Middle Eastern-flavored world. Daring in the sense that she had proven tremendously capable with the classic formula and had found success. To take on a world so vastly different is brave, and to her credit it must be said that her abilities are not wasted in the endeavor. Percheron is a marvel to behold.

Young Boaz, the Zar of Percheron, is at a crossroads. The one person you'd think he could trust, his mother Herezah, is the one person he mistrusts. And with good reason. Herezah has her own plans for Percheron, and one of the first things she needs to do is eliminate Ana, the virginal odalisque of Boaz's harem. Herezah sees her as a serious threat to her objectives and teams with the eunuch Salmeo to bring about Ana's demise. Yet having caught the eye of Boaz, Ana is protected.

All the while, the gods pull the strings on their puppets as they mount their own battles against each other, and Percheron faces a new threat. Lazar, the Spur of Percheron and the friend and protector of Boaz, is secretly recovering from wounds everyone thought had killed him. He is key to the continued existence of Percheron but needs to recover quickly if he is to act in time.

The characters who populate EMISSARY are all intriguing. Pez continues to be the most impressive of the bunch, but Ana takes center stage for this one, in all ways. Every man wants her for his own animalistic desires, Herezah wants her humiliated and ultimately dead, others seek to use her to gain power, and the gods manipulate her for their own needs. All the while, Ana grieves for the death of Lazar, weighed down by the guilt of his loss. Boaz also shows signs of blossoming from immaturity to leader and beginning to understand on a more personal level the deceptions and machinations of those around him who seek only to further their own agendas.

EMISSARY is not filled with daring feats or blood-pumping action, but to say it is wholly devoid of action would be misleading. In the overall arc of the story, EMISSARY is the chess game; it is the manipulation of the pieces with careful precision that sets up an endgame attack of fury that your opponent never saw coming.

With all of the positioning, posturing and planning laid out here, Fiona McIntosh will no doubt have one explosive finale stamped onto the pages of the final volume of this worthwhile and fascinating series.

--- Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fabulous fantasy 13 Oct 2007
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
A year has passed since the warrior city Protector Spur Lazar was killed, Kett was turned into a eunuch, and Ana became an Odalisque although not performing sexual deeds as part of the harem of Boaz, the juvenile Zar of Percheron,. Odalisque Ana blames herself for the misfortune that occurred to her and her protectors. Males have always wanted to cherish Ana so as Kett points out the Lazar needed to become her Protector.

In the harem, the virginal Ana tries to behave and fit in although men still desire her even Boaz. However, the Zar's mother Herezah sees the first crush her son has had and fears the influence of this newcomer to her role as the queen mother ruling over the harem. She arranges a scheme to humiliate Ana before assassinating her. The eunuch Grand Master Salmeo, who detests the popularity of this newcomer amongst his emaciated subordinates and the women he oversees, abets Herezah with her plan to include sexual torture as only he knows how to use. However, on one of those isles that Odalisque Ana stares at from her window, Lazar slowly heals from his severe wounds planning to fulfill his vow as Ana's Protector.

EMISSARY, Book Two of the Percheron Saga (see ODALISQUE) is a fascinating fantasy that provides a deep look into the realm although that keen glimpse makes for little action for most of the tale. Instead the story line has started several subplots that look like they will be action-packed fun. Odalisque Ana is the focus of everyone's wants. The Zar wants her; his mother wants her dead but not martyred;, the Grand Master wants her humiliated; Lazar wants to rescue her;, the Vizier wants to use her to gain power; and the Gods want to manipulate her. This is an entertaining tale, but lacks the punch of ODALISQUE as it sets the stage for the final tale in which hopefully all the players will clash.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Author for the Ages 30 Oct 2007
By Brendan - Published on Amazon.com
Fiona Mcintosh is one of the premiere authors to grace the pages with her thoughts. I am a long time fantasy reader and have been for a very long time. The genre has amazing authors such as George R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan (God rest his soul) but there has not been such a fresh voice until now. Fiona broke out with an amazing series The Quickening in the US. However I do recommend you head over to Amazon UK and pick up her Trinity Trilogy which was incredible. We are all very lucky to have this second installment of her second American release. So prepare yourself for some serious pleasure. Also, take some time to check out her website and online forums. She regularly takes the time to answer each and every person on her boards with personalized answers. A+ 4 Stars 10 out of 10 however you want to put it, buy the book and enjoy.
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy the Third in the Series Before Reading This 30 Mar 2014
By KELA4sisters - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining book, but does not come to any conclusion at the end. You MUST have the 3rd book in your library before starting this one. It's a great story although not written especially for adults. Teens will enjoy its adventure and mysticism but it is a bit, just a bit, too simplistic for me. Honestly, I couldn't put it down, yet found myself irritated at times at the writing style. Also, the typos in this book are extremely distracting, which is not the writer's fault. Even with this slightly negative review, if you are looking for something entertaining to read while laying by the pool, order all three books in the series. They will satisfy and you will enjoy the story.
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