Author: Raymond E. Feist
Series: The Firemane Saga #2
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Published: July 14th 2020
Source: Personal Copy
Read: June 28 – July 17, 2021 (on Kindle)
Rating: 3 of 5 stars (I liked it)
He was known as Bernardo Delnocio of Poberto, which was the first of many lies about him.
Being the second book of the series, the blurb contains many spoilers for the first book.
As such, I won’t copy it here. You may read it here if so inclined.
“The rise of the Church is far more about the ambitions of men than any divine purpose I can perceive.”
Hannah made mention in a comment on the last review of the ’emblems’ I used to use for book reviews. The idea was fairly simple — think achievements, but for books. Achievements that denoted various qualities I particularly valued in my books, such as being able to evoke emotion — whether that be joy or sorrow — or perhaps recognition of a particularly well-developed antagonist, or relatable character growth.
I mentioned bringing them back, and I still might — the problem I had with them is that sometimes a book might not earn many, or even any emblems which could give the impression I didn’t like the book at all when that wasn’t really the case.
Most rating systems have similar issues though. For example — I’m rating Queen of Storms 3 of 5 stars (or, ‘I liked it’ by Good Reads reckoning, which I use as my basis for awarding stars), exactly the same rating I furnished King of Ashes with. Did I like them equally, then?
No- no I didn’t.
Queen of Storms is a better book. Building on the foundation laid out by King of Ashes, it opens the story to a wider array of character points of view. This can sometimes be a double-edged sword but here, the opportunity present in expanding the cast is used to tell a story spanning the world of Garn.
And to then expand the borders of what we understand the world to be.
Not just in a geographical sense, either. Mysteries hinted at in the first book are expanded upon here, in the second. The machinations of the Kingdoms we knew of are starting to feel small, the trivial play of children in a world they don’t comprehend.
The promises the first book makes to you, as a reader, are… I wouldn’t yet say ‘kept’ just yet. The resolutions are still to come. There is another book yet to come in the trilogy, after all. But the signs are all here that they will be kept. Queen of Storms moves the pieces onto the board in a more overt fashion. Sure- we still don’t know the motivations. We don’t know why now. We don’t know… so very much.
But I’m looking forward to finding out, whenever Master of Furies (The Firemane Saga #3), tentatively scheduled for Summer 2022, comes out.
One final note to add — I was perhaps a little harsh in my critique of the prose in the first book. Perhaps. I stand by what I said, don’t get me wrong — I’m just not sure I adequately balanced it out with the confirmation the book was nonetheless enjoyable. The writing in Queen of Storms is similar — it won’t demand much of you, as a reader. But it works. With less of the writing wrapped up in explaining and more in simply having things happen the style and the content are better in sync.
The Firemane Saga isn’t going to blow your socks off. But it’s a fun ride so far, even so.