This book deals with warfare as the rebels who are trying to rid their land of warring dukes put their plans into action. This story shows not only battles and magic but the repercussions that conflict has on those who don't fight. The characters and story are complex, with different viewpoints clashing just as strongly as armies and mercenaries.
After the first offering from Juliet I was a little apprehensive as to how this title would develop yet its clear within the first few pages that with much of the world building done, this title is there to bring it all to light as this intense offering brings the best of fantasy to the fore. Beautifully written, ideally descriptive this title really does take off at a pace that few will find hard to believe after the first novel. Not that the world building and careful construction isn't required it really did set the tone and give the reader a deeper understanding of the world to which they were to enter but its all been carefully done.
I really am looking forward to the next offering and don't be surprised if what you expect to happen doesn't as Juliet really does know how to misdirect the reader and if some of the lead's pan out as expected the whole world will be in upheaval as the politics lead them down a darker path.
Book two in the Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution is as compelling as Irons in the Fire. Indeed, once the bump of the first couple of chapters is over, it is exceedingly difficult to put this book down or to stop thinking about what might next transpire.
We begin in the first morning of the Autumn Equinox festival with Tathrin, who continues his reluctant transformation from Vanam scholar to doubting mercenary, yet one thing is certain: the revolution must continue despite the horrific bloodshed. Aremil is beset with equal doubts, heightened by his disabilities and worsened by his grasp of artifice.
Obviously, the first thirty to forty pages are the lull before the storm, where the main characters' key motivations are recapped, ready for the first battle at Triolle where another despotic duke is disposed. Hereon in, the revolutionary army led by Captain-General Evord gathers pace and from five contrasting viewpoints we see, hear, smell, feel but most importantly empathise with the plight of those individuals desperate to bring a lasting peace to Lescar.
But at what price does this peace come? As the story lines unravel, peoples' allegiances shift, views alter, politics are played, sides are changed. This is life. This is the beauty of Juliet's writing: how escapism meshes with reality to be guided by the domestic nature that forms the heart of all her intricate characters. Together, they produce a potent spell and create a living, breathing tale that is wonderful to behold.
If this is not enough, for those battle-hardened warmongers, there are elaborate and original battles - experienced from both sides, and from both the aloof Raven playing generals and the messengers forcing their way through the grime to carry written instructions to and from besieged captains. One shortfall of the tale would have to be the sex scenes, which are still very much `closed door' affairs. Poor Tathrin in that brothel. When he finally succumbs to the weariness dogging him and is helpless to the allurements of the young woman Sorgrad and Gren have instigated to relax him, he continues worrying. This time it is about what his love, Failla might think of him. A proper gentleman.
Finally, without meaning to spoil the story, one of the most memorable chapters involves the magical duel betwixt Sorgrad and Gren and A.N.Other characters, the outcome of which rocks everyone's world, drives a wedge between certain relationships, and sows the seeds (maybe) for the next instalment: Banners in the Wind.