Huh. I'm still trying to figure out this series, I admit, but the one thing I didn't figure was that one episode would feature a party soaked in political intrigue. But it works -- it really, really works.
Yeah, there's plenty of magic and swordplay in this series. But there's almost as much going on when it comes to diplomacy and politics. It's subtle, it's harder to follow in this world than you might be used to (but it's getting easier the more time we spend in this series) -- but it's rewarding. This episode's focal event is the perfect setting to focus on the subtle games and moves going on with these characters.
Michiko seems to take a step in a constructive direction -- and if this goes like I think it will, I might actually like her as a character. Ojo's still the most interesting character in this series (with the possible exception of Michiko's secret relative, but he's interesting for completely different reasons), and I continue to like how he's being used. I think I might like Kris a bit more now than I have soon.
One thing the series seems clear about is that Lavinia is a bad person -- good warrior, savvy at her job, but she's a bad person. Maybe not King Joffrey bad, but someone in that vein. Which is odd, it seems that the series is going out of its way to show you things from (for example) Ojo's point of view, but also what Penelope, Kris and Michiko think of him and his actions. The same goes for everyone but for Lavinia. There's only one perspective presented for her. Now, honestly, I'm not sure I want to look too far into her head -- so I'm not sure this is a bad thing, but it just strikes me as odd.
This has a great closing line -- it definitely made me want to read on. The episode on the whole does that, too -- by the end, I probably feel more settled in this world than I have before and I can start to enjoy things. I wouldn't appreciate a novel taking this long to get me into the story, but given the starts and stops of these episodes, I'm much more willing to go along with it and three episodes doesn't seem as big an investment.If you haven't decided to take the plunge, this might be the time.