I don’t know where to begin with this one. I loved the first book so much that I didn’t want it to end. This second book—I couldn’t wait for it to end. What happened? It took over 300 pages before anything interesting happened. Ordinarily I would have given up, except I trusted the book would get better. It did—for a time. The middle was good. Then the ending rolled on and on and on. It was a real slog.
I skim-read a lot of it, including the last 50 pages. Too much politics. Too many characters. It was confusing. What happened to the adventure? What happened to the erotic angle?
Unfortunately, its slow pace made me notice things I didn’t in the first book. Phedre annoyed me. Everybody loves her. She’s perfect in every way. And the final confrontation with Melisandre! I just wanted to slap her! OY! Then there’s the writing style. It was so thick and wordy and cheesy. So many ‘mayhaps’. Quite frankly, I was tempted to throw the book across the room.
Then why the 3 stars? It’s not a bad book. The writing is decent enough (at least, when there’s a good plot), and the characters had great depth. I think, for me, my feelings are more of a taste issue, rather than anything wrong with the book.
They say the third book is better. I hope so. I think I’ll give it a go, but this time, I won’t be slogging through 300 pages to get to the meat of the story.
A disappointing follow-up to Kushiel’s Dart but not enough to turn me away from the finale. We’ll see what happens.