- Mass Market Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: Eos; Reprint edition (1 Jan. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060829788
- ISBN-13: 978-0060829780
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.2 x 17.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,955,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mistress of Winter Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 2008
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Making matters better and worse from Shara's perspective is when teenage sorceress Arefaine Morgeon, a goddess in the rival kingdom of Ohohhim, awakens Brophy. He is not the same heroic person who entered the eternal sleep and easily is led away by Arefaine who persuades him to accompany her to the ruined magical city of Efften; there she says he can rid himself entirely from the residual remains of the sinister Black Emmeria. As a heartbroken and mentally devastated Shara leaves for the Summer Isles seeking solace, her beloved owes Arefaine although he distrusts her. Brophy knows Arefaine and her empire must have some reason to want to journey to Efften with him, but he is unaware that the plan to raid the magical city is to enable her kingdom to destroy Ohndarien.
This exciting action-packed sequel requires the audience to recently have read the first epic saga HEIR OF AUTUMN to keep up with all the goings-on (the above two paragraphs glide on the surface of the zillion subplots). Brophy is a fascinating protagonist who behaves like a tortured prisoner of war with no escape possible leading to all hope gone. This sort of reminded this reviewer of a Star Trek episode in which a man is stuck for eternity in a "universe" with a manic who wants him dead. However, the more fascinating character is Shara whose mixed reactions to his awakening are classic. Fantasy fans will enjoy Brophy's latest escapades as it appears he has jumped from the frying pan into the fire.
That's a rare gift. I don't know how these guys do it, but in the course of following the story in these two books, I felt increasingly immersed into the world they created. The key is that Fahnestock and Carwyn do it at just the right dosage level, where the reader continued to learn something new about the history and legends of this world, even into the final chapters, while the story never loses momentum. Heir of Autumn, I thought, began in such a way that ran them the risk of telling too much back-story and losing the audience. This kind of story should NOT be presented like a history lesson. When Brophy was banished and went off into the desert, I was really worried we would be breaking out the History textbook and high doses of caffeine to get through it. CS Lewis did it to me in the Narnia books, and I had a REAL hard time getting through those endless chapters of the main characters STILL riding their horses, and STILL trying to find water, and STILL rubbing their aching butts, and STILL worried about those dark clouds that STILL loomed over the horizon.... YAWN!!!
These guys, however, very effectively used one of the better time-lapse tools - rendering the hero unconscious!! Brilliant! Scorpion sting, blackout, wake up at his destination - PROBLEM SOLVED. There's a little Obi-Wan Kenobi inspiration there, but we can forgive anyone our age for that. It was from that point forward that the story really picked up the pace for me, and of course I appreciated the back story before that point, making the reader fall in love with this glorious city, Ohndarien, and its people's philosophy. I'm wondering - where did the authors travel for inspiration? Ohndarien truly is an original creation - either that or I'm not exposed to its literary counterpart.
The Nine Squares contest was confusing at first, but looking back, I see the genius in its presentation. I wonder about the inspiration for the structure and animal progression (rat, scorpion, phoenix, etc.. I'm half-expecting to travel to Denver and see that exact series of statues or carvings at the Zoo.
What keeps the momentum going is that they are consistently dangling the mystery of the heartstone like a carrot in front of the reader's nose. How did it get its power? Did it contain someone's spirit? Did it come from outer space? What was it made of? Why was it in Ohndarien? And what's the deal with the Seasons? The Nightmare Battle at the end of Heir of Autumn was crafted like the best action movies are - you know it's a regional or global catastrophe, however it's best told and enjoyed from the point of view of just a few characters.
And then Mistress of Winter introduces a whole new series of characters for us to fall in love with. I was torn about the Albino. Is honest cruelty evil? Honesty is good, cruelty isn't - he's a great paradox, and a well-crafted character. I'm hoping he wasn't really killed off at the end, and I'm looking forward to the authors pull him, other characters, and all these different societies together in Queen....
YOU _KNOW_ MY FAVORITE PART WAS THE DUELING!!! Bad puns and poetry are encoded into my DNA, and I was laughing my butt off during those scenes. I also particularly enjoyed Mikal's insight about how such lack of real skill and effective leadership led the society to be upheld as an example, due to a lack of wars, revolt, or oppression. Makes me think that maybe if the leaders of N. Korea, Iran, and a few others were to get drunk on a pirate ship, we might enjoy more peace in our world.
Lawdon is simply awesome. Mikal is crafted well as the reluctant hero. Shara is intoxicating, but partway into Mistress of Winter, I got bored of the fact that she got her power from sex and seduction. I started to think "okay, guys, be a little less predictable," and then they brought all the other flavors of magic to bear, and she started experimenting with combinations. Now I like her more, and I'm intrigued how she'll keep her head above water in Queen of Oblivion. And then Ossamyr learning the light emmeria - suppose these two will cross (lightsabers?) swords in the final book?
I hope these books are selling well. I think they should be. There's a Narnia/Lord of the Rings aspect to the stories. A legend that has concepts that hit close to home, but that is original enough to keep the reader's curiosity piqued for hours/days/months on end. This world has several societies coming together in one story, and the authors accomplish the difficult task of each society having its unique qualities, even though there are only two gentlemen creating the books. I don't know how to help them sell more, exactly, except to put them in the hands of people who read a lot and talk a lot about what they read.
For anyone seeking a perfect escape from the overwhelming political news of our time, step into these books, and enjoy. What an experience!