I am reviewing a DTB version.
Wow! That was the longest prologue I've ever read!
Now I can go back to page 1 and start enjoying the book.
Many reviews that mention re-reads make sense now.
Few thoughts on the book, the writing, the characters, the shenanigans. No spoilers, just want to keep my outrage contained in the spoiler tags.
Tho I like it when authors dump you right in the middle of things and you have to start running the moment you hit the ground, this was not the case. I sure did do some legwork, but it was mostly bouncing up and down on the same spot, trying to get hold on my bearings. What? Who? Where? How? but most often than not WTF? were the questions popping into my head every other paragraph.
None of the places, politics, history and even characters, including one of the MCs, are explored enough for readers to fully comprehend the magnitude of events that the author is bestowing upon us until it's almost into the second half.
* Felix doesn't get to shine in the beginning of the book; hell, Felix doesn't get to be or do anything before all hell brakes loose. He doesn't get. to. be. Although SM keeps showering us with "Felix is This" and "Felix is That", all we see is a mad, wounded, bleeding dog instead of a shiny pretty thing, and its running, whimpering, to his abuser after being called "a whore". That one word and an unsubstantiated implication to go along does not justify Felix's violent overreaction. I am sure it's all perfect in MS's head, but she clearly prefers not to share any additional bits with us (and there are more to come).
Where is this person who thinks quick on his legs? SM's shiny version of Felix should handle it in no time flat, instead he is seeking out his uber abusive master he hasn't seen in years and loading on drugs like there is no tomorrow.
Felix the magnificent, "whose deadly wit is the terror of the court” my ass. Whiny little pup!
* The book is packed with too many elaborate names that mean nothing, people who never show up and have no impact on the events, places we never go to.
Not sure why French rev. calendar was used. To give an instant historical setting? Sorry, it didn't work. You can't use a calendar and a bunch of French sounding names to instantly set the stage, unless its real France and the time is set roughly during the very end of 18th/beginning of 19th centuries. Same goes for Troia/Greece. These tricks confuse, not clarify events or describe places or historical periods in fantasy fiction.
I jam fond of French history and literature, but even then it took me a few minutes to zoom in on Pluviôse, I simply did not expect it. It was one of my first in the long line of WTF moments. I am sure many of us remember the calendar, but then there are many who do not.
*Please, translate for the overwhelming majority of your non-russian speaking audience, what the hell Morskaiakrov means. Would it kill you to make a footnote: *Morskayakrov (russian) - Sea Blood. In current setting it implies that the family who operates the boat has sea in their blood. They were born into the trade and sea is their home and their life.
Please, quit making people feel inadequate and leaving them tongue-twisted and cross-eyed.
* Too many side stories. For what purpose? Ah.... of course. Page count. But they slow down the flow of the main story and leave loose ends all over the place.
What was the deal with the hidden attic at St. Crellifer's? Great escape route. Great way in. But was it utilized? I really hope it will come handy later, because as of right now it's an opportunity and reader's time wasted.
*POV switching. Two paragraphs here. Half a page there. Past Tense, Present Tense... I am looking forward (not!) to colons in The Virtu, that's on top of Italics and Mildmay's bad and inconstant speech antics.
*Would it greatly burden you to have a glossary of terms and names in the beginning of the book? If anything it will expand your page count.
*Please, mention your septads in the glossary of your quirks. Two septads and six is an amusing take on 20 questions, but - really? Really? Invent your own question game and leave decimals out.
OK, shutting up now. There is more in my updates if anyone cares.
This book made me angry. Felix, too, at the very end, with his lack of gratitude and common sense made me angry. BUT. The story held my interest. I am starting The Virtue today. That counts for something, I guess.
PS Shannon. I feel bad for him. Felix is one ungrateful piece of ...work.
I am one of those people who, when hearing about domestic abuse, ask "why can't she/he just leave"?
There are plenty of books out there describing the abuse itself, but very little in the terms of the reasoning or history behind it. This book, however short, manages to encompass not only the dynamics but each individual history, the reasoning, the emotions of both men involved. It even explains "but I love him/her" excuse most victims use to stay with the very person who treats them like crap. In the end, while hating Sky suffering, I felt sorry for Tate the Abuser. Really sorry, as in "please, let there be a sequel and may he find someone who will set him free".
This is the case where you try not to judge a book by its cover.
For one thing, it surely is much prettier than the story.
Another, Rhys, the blond with scary anger issues, looks seriously pregnant. Explains his mood swings, right? ;) But - no, this is not mpreg and the guy is hiding something else in his shirt. Lube? Candy? Booze? Who knows.
Please, do yourself a favor before buying this book and read an excerpt on ARe.
It goes pretty much like this:
A father wakes up his son in the morning to info-dump their family history - sorry, kid, your are a bastard child; their financial situation - sorry, kid, your grandpa had gambling problems; and the business dealings - sorry, kid, I married that bitch (she made Caden miserable for 20 years) for money to keep our trade afloat, and so you can live comfortably (NOT!), and oh, by the way, you are getting married in a couple of hours, your husband is already here.
What does the son say?
“I have never disobeyed you father,” Caden’s soft voice whispered in his ear. “I will marry the prince and do my best not to shame you.”
Darn, me ? I would be looking for some serious caffeine fix and a cold shower to wake up to make sure it's not a dream. Ok, so - that bitch, who tried to murder me as a child, is not my mother, phew! Grandpapa was a gambler? He lost our family money? Now who's the bastard? And - wait! I am getting married?
"OK, father. Your screwed me royally, but I will marry the prince, because I don't want to shame you."