Top critical review
Really 3.5 stars
on July 15, 2003
Sorry, but,... I just did not like this book as much as Lord of Fire. LOF's hero, Lucien, was so much more multi-dimensional and complex. To explain why he is the way he is, Foley spent an appropriate amount of time on his background, particularly how Lucien had always felt inferior to his "older" twin brother Damien. Also, so much was made of Lucien's admiration for Damien. so I expected Damien to have admirable qualities, which he really didn't. He was obviously tormented by his war experience, but this was the only aspect of his character Foley covered. So Damien wound up being one-dimensional and boring. Also, the way his post traumatic stress syndrome was portrayed was almost silly. Although he agonizes constantly about bugging out in front of people, he only has one public episode, and that's when a champagne cork pops, triggering his war memories. I couldn't help giggling. Also, the way Miranda apparently "cures" him with one session of oral sex was silly as well. I felt like Foley raised a worthwhile topic (survivor's guilt and PTSD) but then dealt with them in a very shallow way.
Equally shallow has been Foley's portrayal of Lucien and Damien's relationship as twins. Perhaps it's a cliche that twins are emotionally close, but Lucien and Damien almost treated each other like strangers. In LOF, they avoided each other until the very end of the book, and in LOI, Lucien actually spent more time talking to Miranda than to Damien. I didn't expect the twins to have mental telepathy, but I did expect the fact that they were twins to have some impact on the stories, which it did not. It's almost as if she made them twins for no reason.