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Having been left with a Meh feeling to the original, I really wanted to try the second part to see if the world building alongside the characters picked up. Its always tricky to read a second part when the first left you feeling a not only a little cheated but that you needed something extra especially from an established author.

Sadly for me, this book really didn't pick up the series as much as I'd hope it would. The characters still didn't feel fully rounded, the situations still felt forced and for me sadly this really led to the book dragging.

That said, Melanie has continued her remarkable world building by allowing the reader to see how others perceive the characters alongside their abilities and whilst it isn't all smooth sailing, it really adds to the atmosphere. Sadly for me this book is just average (like the predecessor so I'll be sticking to my original thoughts that if you want to read the author please go with her Dragon Prince trilogy over this, its vastly superior.
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on 31 October 2013
An unusual tale about theatre and acting, except the players use magic to create the scenes and the setting and the smells and disguising the one actor as different characters. The book is so well written with astounding descriptions and one of the best fantasy books I have ever read. However it was hard to get in to and was quite boring at points.

It paints a picture of a long ago world, where the characters face the struggles of being a woman and not allowed to own her own business entirely, where you're the son of a lady and expected to grow up to become an important member of the court but having a dream to be a player, and having no support from family. Painting this situations with a realness and emotion you can feel through the words.
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Having read Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince Trilogy I was certainly looking forward to this new series published by Titan as I expected her blend of fantasy, magic and characters to take me on a new journey into the unknown.

So opening the book to the first page, whilst leaving me slightly confused more than intrigued me to keep going. What unfurls within is an imaginative world where theatres are the places of magic as groups of talented individuals band together to create something unique to earn themselves fame, money and of course the idolation of the masses.

It's certainly something new, something almost wild which when added to a fascinating set of castes kept me glued just to figure out how it all worked alongside how each brought their talents to add to the greater experience.

That said, and whilst on the whole I did enjoy the book my main grumble is to do with the portrayal of the characters themselves, the felt forced into some of the situations as well as emotionally and developmentally deficient to really elicit the response that an author usually gets from a reader. It was at times a struggle to continue but I will read the next book in the series to see if it picks up now that a lot of the leg work has been established.
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on 10 May 2012
Utter Dross, needs to finish off her earlier series which i'd now have serious doubts about buying after this. Avoid at all costs, a huge let down especially after the whole Dragon Prince series.
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