Echoes of Betrayal: Paladin's Legacy Hardcover – Feb 21 2012
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PRAISE FOR ELIZABETH MOON
Kings of the North
“Moon’s characters navigate an intricate maze of alliances and rivalries. . . . Close attention to military detail gives the action convincing intensity.”—The Star-Ledger
“Her storytelling is as electrifying as ever, and her readers should be delighted with this new vista of a well-known world.”—Booklist
Oath of Fealty
“A triumphant return to the fantasy world she created . . . No one writes fantasy quite like Moon.”—The Miami Herald
“Ranks alongside Andre Norton’s Witch World and Tolkien’s Middle-earth for invention, deeds of valor, and battles of good against evil.”—Jack Campbell
About the Author
Former Marine Elizabeth Moon is the author of many novels, including Kings of the North, Oath of Fealty, Victory Conditions, Command Decision, Engaging the Enemy, Marque and Reprisal, Trading in Danger, the Nebula Award winner The Speed of Dark, and Remnant Population, a Hugo Award finalist. After earning a degree in history from Rice University, Moon went on to obtain a degree in biology from the University of Texas, Austin. She lives in Florence, Texas.See all Product Description
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This is a 3.5 to 4 star read.
Anything that keeps me up reading until 2:30am has to be worth more than 3 stars, but a 4 star or 5 star review requires a sense of fulfilment at the end of the book. Even middle books of trilogies or a book in the center of the series still needs to have some fulfilment and completion.
The characters are interesting, Arvid, the Dragon, Beclan, Kieri - all very well drawn. The situations demand attention, and the world-building is lovely. The discussions about wisdom and faith were fascinating. But, the emotions leaned toward the grim, even when joy was present. If you've been following this series, it's worth reading, although you may want to wait until the next one comes out as hopefully more of the storyline will be resolved.
This book assumes a lot of previous knowledge. If you're new to the series, it's worthwhile starting with the earlier trilogy - The Deed of Paksenarrion: The Deed of Paksenarrion omnibus - first book is Sheepfarmer's Daughter. The characters are developed there and the world built.
All in all - it get me up all night to finish it, but at the end, the story isn't over, and you're left waiting, expecting more.
So.. not a 5 star, and not quite a 4 star, but let's round up for an enjoyable addition to a great fantasy series.
Since Arvid was in the worst situation when last we parted, it is only fair that the book starts with him as we left him: captured, robbed, tied up and sentenced to death. Arvid is the thief who took pity on Paksenarrion when she was being tortured, and ever since he intervened on her behalf he has heard, on occasion, the voice of a god in his head, as uncomfortable as ever Pinocchio found a conscience to be, as uncompromising as the visitation in C.S. Lewis' The Pilgrim's Regress. With the oh-so-subtle assistance of that deity, Arvid and the gnome who travels with him escape, and Arvid sets out to execute the Master Thief who betrayed him. Arvid has been my favorite character for a while, and his story carries the biggest emotional payoff this time round. His adventure was so heart-grabbing that every time the author left him to tell what was happening elsewhere, I skipped ahead to the next Arvid chapter. Then I backtracked and read the rest of the book after the AMAZING!!!!! conclusion of his story arc.
Kieri Phelan and Arian, in Lyonya, have the aftermath of devastating dragon fire to deal with, not to mention Pargunese invaders under the coercion of Achyran spider demons. Oh, joy. And the bones of Kieri's family continue to warn him of elven treachery. Kieri makes a discovery about the original dealings between humans and elves that forces him to rethink everything he thought he knew, as the power of love contends with the dark and terrible power of malice.
In a time of sorrow and death, Kieri finally chooses to risk breaking his alliance with the elves by contacting the Kuakkgani, the tree shepherds, who prove to be considerably more forthcoming than the unreliable but glamorous elves. The dragon is by far the most impressive of all the magical creatures encountered in this series, the spiders are the creepiest, the gnomes are the most intriguing, but the Kuakkgani are by far the most fun.
Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Tsaia, Kieri's former captain Dorrin, now Duke Verrakai, is in a hard position. She is still cleaning up the deadly magics her relatives inflicted on the kingdom, and simultaneously trying to train up a guard force sufficient to defend Tsaia and to go to the aid of King Mikeli's allies. Dorrin has the most foresight of all the main characters; she understands that any peace is temporary, and that it is only a matter of time before a former ally attacks both kingdoms in a bid to become emperor. But the other nobles of Tsaia regard her with suspicion, and they ignore her directions for defense and preparation. Inevitably, when things go wrong, the very nobles whose inaction precipitated the tragedy blame Dorrin for their losses. Dorrin has her unbreakable integrity, but that is cold comfort when your kingdom is crumbling and lots of men tell lies about you in loud voices while their wives whisper behind your back.
Arcolin and the rest of Fox Company, as the most mobile unit, interact with all the other storylines as messengers, warriors, and agents of change. They prove pivotal time and again, and I suspect they will have an even bigger role to play in the future.
This is a wonderful series; the next volume cannot come soon enough.
The book ends on a sudden note, and I've got to go back and re-read it because I feel like I was missing something.
Other than that, I love the series and want the next book!
The series so far has had dark hints, and dire portents, but almost none of them have advanced, or come to fruition. Multiple minor plotlines seem to be introduced and resolved, making up the majority of hte book, while hte major plots advance not at all, despite being referenced often.
The writing as well, seems a little off. Chapters, and even the book, end abruptly, with the next chapter from the POV of a different character, leading to a disconnect.
While the plot is interesting and engaging, it simply doesn't move.
I loved the original Paks triology, but I find myself disappointed in this one.
As indicated by others, this book doesn't bring all of the strings of the tale to a nice, neat ending. I don't mind that if the continuation is available soon. Please hurry, Ms. Moon.