Enjoyed Hoffman's second installment. Great pacing, nice character development and a plot that truly evolves in a second novel rather than just being a transitional book setting up a conclusive third. Steve West's narration was as enjoyable as the first. This rating fell short of 5 stars due to some irritating inconsistencies with the protagonist's abilities ( ex: his mentor reaches out and connects with a surprising backhand....this sort of martial blow is supposed to be impossible to land according to the first book) and some illogical blindness of the characters. But all in all, I'm looking forward to the next book. Enjoy
Unable to formulate any combination of narration to have saved this story
Something that does not include cross-species rape scenes.
facile, consistent , likeable
Initially I was drawn in by the story's sci-fi setting. Who wouldn't be intrigued by an elfin, dualist ambassador entering a draconian empire (populated by actual dragonoid beings) to pit his bravado, whits and martial skill against a vicious race of star faring, imperialistic lizards. I was also drawn in by the vulnerability the protagonist's empathic nature posed when he is submerged in an ultra-violent, alien society.
But when the main character perceives his ambassadorial goals might be furthered by enduring repeated sodomizing rape by a huge dragonoid emperor...well...lets just say my level of empathy with the protagonist evaporated. As did any interest in finishing the story.
While I do not condemn anyone whose tastes run to a nice interstellar, enter-species, homoerotic, sadomasochistic love story - mine do not. Nor was I please to discover this fact well into the story.
Steer clear if you also find this outside your tastes.
Had I read the synopsis more carefully I would have realized this was a young adults novel. Having said that ( as I'm an old dude ) I was impressed by the narration. It was well time and delivered. The plot, while juvenile, has good depth and pacing. I will definitely recommend this to my teenage sons.
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