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I've been dying to post this SOMEWHERE--it will go up on Amazon.com in a few days when the book becomes available!



Shalador’s Lady is tightly packed with the missing action from the previous book, because now is the time for our characters to dig in and fight for who they want to rule Dena Nehele. That’s right… another Queen from Kaeleer stirs things up. There are three divisions in this book: Cassidy and her Court, Kermilla and those who want her, and the sideline observers—the SaDiablo family and some important rulers of Kaeleer. The reader builds a deeper understanding of the ruling system of the Blood and which lines are not to be crossed. How involved should outside help be in the influencing a Territory, especially when that Territory is straining under a tug-of-war for leadership? How to fight for land and people without decimating what’s left with war? There are hard decisions to be made, in order to accomplish the original premise of The Shadow Queen—restoring faith and the Old Ways of the Blood to weary and wary survivors of Dena Nehele. Fascinating, how this plays out.

****

One side comment, perhaps a spoiler warning…

Finally Anne gives us an antagonist that is not so utterly evil, the reader wants her dead by the second page. Kermilla is like a young Scarlett O’Hara—petty, selfish, and good at using her feminine wiles to get her way—the kind of perfect prey that the late Dorothea would have carefully corrupted. Essentially Kermilla is a little brat who utterly fails at proper Queen duties. It is painful to watch her jolly around Grayhaven, ruining the tentative hope of the people, and even more painful to watch Theran let her do it. Theran, who by the end of The Shadow Queen seemed to be redeemable as Cassie’s First Escort, but completely disappoints everyone (the reader included) by losing his sense when Kermilla comes to town… because she is HIS Queen and ultimately the one he feels should rule Dena Nehele. We get insight into the old taint of Terreille—what happens when a decent Warlord Prince belongs to a not-so-decent Queen? Theran ends up balanced on this precarious edge, with one praying he’ll lose the blinders and take the high road for the good of his people.

****

This book is a fulfilling conclusion to The Shadow Queen. It may, however, be slightly confusing in some parts for readers who do not have background knowledge of the previous books. I emphasize this simply because Anne drops some large “THERE’S A STORY HERE!” hints for her next (anthology) book, but they would make no sense without knowing the characters, who’s involved, and why.

If you are a major fan, you won’t be disappointed. There is a little less character-delving than in The Shadow Queen, and a refreshing and enlightening way to see the SaDiablo family from an outsider perspective. As much as one loves the SaDiablos… most of the Blood just will not have that intimate understanding of them. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t have fun watching Gray and Ranon deal with the most powerful family of the Blood and laugh to your heart’s content.

Date: 2010-03-01 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] klmeri.livejournal.com
Actually one shouldn't be able to... :P Oops.
I have many many copies also because (1) I wear them out and (2) I cannot help myself. It's a disease, albeit a pleasant one!

You know, Jaenelle's in the same situation as when Draca told Saetan he wasn't really so cold, and Saetan replied that at least he was allowed his illusions.

Did you even expect that about Falonar?

Date: 2010-03-01 03:04 pm (UTC)
shadowcat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowcat
I have the original covers, which have now been put away, the omnibus of the the three books, the new cover art ones... and two copies of the trade paperbacks of the original trilogy. Now, if they would all either come out in hardback (to match my copies of Shadow Queen and Shalador's lady) and if Tangled Webs and Shadow Queen would be released in Trade Paperback size...

I knew that at some point he was going to do something and one of the family was going to do something to him. I didn't expect him to do that kind of thing, though. That was one thing you do not play with where the SaDiablos or anyone in Kaeleer is concerned.

Hee. But no one is allowing her to have her illusions any longer, are they. :D Not that she can after Ranon!

Date: 2010-03-01 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] klmeri.livejournal.com
You mean, you realized Falonar wasn't going to be satisfied for long as second-in-command. Yeah. After all, he's an "aristo" who used to serve in a First Circle. (This is my speculation. I'll be speculatin' until the new book comes out!)

Yeah, I've got just about the same collection, all of which have their own special bookshelf. There is something so satisfying about having matching collections. :D I even own the out-of-print Treachery and Treason, where she published her original Surreal story! That was hard to find, let me tell you...

I love that Gray still retains some of his boyish enthusiasm. ...bouncing like a Sceltie... -snicker- I almost died laughing when Lucivar said, "Okay, brainless. Use words."

What's your take on Karla's "family" in Glacia? I don't think it's any surprise she has taken Della in... Were you sad for her regarding the repercussions of surviving that poisoning?

One last question! (Sorry.) Rainier. I'm curious. In Tangled Webs, Jaenelle insisted that she would see to it that he would dance again. Now, she may have lost some power, but certainly not her skills! Yet, Anne goes on to state in this book that "Rainier would never fully recover from his own injuries." :( What's going on?

Sorry for the late reply--no boss would accept "late because of epic conversation."

Date: 2010-03-01 10:13 pm (UTC)
shadowcat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowcat
There was a phrase that was used about honor that clued me into what may have happened and then the later conversation between Daemon and Surreal gave me more of an inkling. And I wasn't sure he'd accept it too long after "Queen" anyway.

I have that! I also have "Powers of Detection" which has another story, "The Price" in it.

When Surreal said what she did about Karla's adopted daughter, I just knew it had to be Della. The incident with KaeAskavi just made me glee over being right. As protective as her Master of the Guard was when Daemon took her away to be healed, that didn't surprise me either.

Yes, I was a little sad about the repercussions, but it being Karla (and Jaenelle) I am not assuming that it's all there is to it. Same with the whole thing with Rainier. Jaenelle said he would dance again, so I wonder if there is something else going on there.

Date: 2010-03-01 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] klmeri.livejournal.com
I wonder what Nurian feels. After all, she was in love with Falonar!

I adore "The Price." It always amuses me that Daemon is so... territorial over Surreal when Rainier shows up (cat with the mouse) despite that Rainier works for him. Yes, Daemon, we know you have the prior claim, but Surreal needs some other male friends too!

I have given Rainier's situation some thought. Of course, with almost having his leg amputated, rehabilitation would be extensive. I just hope he'll be able to put away that cane one day, and maybe give some dance lessons on the side. (Though he does have that "secretary" position to keep him occupied.) I imagine, before we know it, the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan is going to end up with a whole STAFF making him irritated, amused and terrified! Oh wait... he already does. -cough- Mrs. Beale.

We know the gender of Chaosti's child, but what about Khardeen's? After all, Morghann was pregnant a month or so before Gabrielle. Anne did say she's writing a Winsol story, so possibly that will be answered in a year's time.

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