Realising that this was the second in the series, I went back and read the first before continuing on to this one (it wouldn’t have been the first time I started part-way through a series, though I much prefer not to).
Thorpe has created a convincing world, one which admittedly relies heavily on our own (is it Earth? If so, when?) but with some original and interesting differences between the cultures and peoples who inhabit it.
The characterisation is good, with a strong protagonist whose journey to maturity is evident in her speech and behaviour, and Thorpe’s writing. The geopolitics is also well thought out, giving a real sense of large forces at play – and how individuals within these greater schemes can feel lost or powerless.
What I must point out is that using a spellchecker is no replacement for a decent editor; missing words, repeated phrases, questionable punctuation, and incorrect usages will not necessarily be picked up by this handy simple tool, and therefore basic things can be missed that should have been ironed out well before reaching the public audience. I give kudos to anyone who creates a language to add flavour to their Fantasy novel, but it has to be consistent; there were a couple of instances where Thorpe’s usage of her own, made-up language was incorrect – the word for ‘sorry’ replacing ‘thank you’.
Thorpe’s attention to detail is a bit lacking (our protagonist’s injury, which is made much of before, is forgotten in one lovemaking scene, for example); though in all fairness, given Thorpe was being treated for an illness at the time of writing this second novel, I am impressed she finished it, at all.
All in all, I really enjoyed the world building, the story, and the overall arc of both characters and ideas (which are great). However, silly mistakes should be remedied before a novel even hits an advance reader copy stage – let alone final publication – and I have to mark it down.
I look forward to reading the third instalment – it really is a series with some brilliant ideas – I just hope it’s better edited than the first two.
For fifteen months, the Empire and the northern people have been at war, but a truce is finally at hand. As part of this treaty, Lena, now a Guardswoman on the Wall, is asked to stand as a hostage, to go north to live and learn among the people of Linrathe. But not everyone there will welcome her. As Lena learns more of the history of both her land and the north, a new threat emerges, one that will test her loyalty to its limits, and in the end, demand a price she could not have envisioned.
I do not get paid for blog tours or reviews, and this is my honest feedback.