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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 01:37 am (UTC)
shadowcat: (Jaenelle)
From: [personal profile] shadowcat
I got the book today and read it from cover to cover and I have to say:

OMFG pack of Scelties! Khollie!

There is more, but I'm pretty sure you know me well enough to know how well I enjoyed the book and eagerly await the next. :D

Also? THAT'S MY GIRL!!! :D

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