Patricia Briggs' "unique" (Kliatt) novel of a slave, swordwielder, and spy gets a second life with an exciting new package to attract the fans that made her Mercy Thompson novels bestsellers.
©2011 Patricia Briggs (P)2011 Penguin Audio
i love patricia briggs, and i love most of her books (the Mercy Thompson Series is a must read), so i had high hope for this book (i loved masques) but i didn't fall in love with any for the charaters (like i did with wolf).
i have heard her in The hob's Bargan and it was ok, but i would have had Katherine Kellgren read all of the Sianim Series.
dont think of it as part of Sianim Series (Masques and Wolfsbane) think of it as its own book.
I've read every book written by Patricia Briggs at least twice, and have listened to all her audio books until this one. I found Ms Bradshaw's narration irritating, so much so that i couldn't listen to the book. It seemed she was trying too hard to make her voice smooth and husky instead of using a natural tone. If not for that, I might have been able to listen to the characters because they didn't seem too bad at first, and I thought once she got into the book, they'd only improve. Unfortunately, I found myself grinding my teeth at her narrator's voice. Disappointing.
Excellent narration by Jennifer James Bradshaw. She differentiated the voices, and sounded not "sexy" (as someone said) but mellifluous, with a smoothly modulated voice.
As for the story itself, please excuse any misspelling of names, since I listened only. I liked the developing relationship between the healer Tristan (a sylvan, a green magic user) and the empath Riella (escaped slave turned horse whisperer and spy). That was nicely handled, even though Tris pulled a fast one, and should have had to grovel more.
However, the plot is weak. The final resolution didn't hold together well, because of a sudden character shift. I couldn't see "the prophet" as anything but a slave trader and rapist. His link with "the night god" didn't make sense, since this god was known for providing refuge for the weak, by covering them in darkness, hiding them (not raping or enslaving). Thus, the prophet's characterization went wonky, when Briggs tried to re-draw him as benign, just because he helped... Never mind. No spoilers here. Also, the whole cats plot thread went nowhere, really. I expected more of that.
This is part of a series, but it can be read as a stand alone, no problem. Overlapping characters are the spymaster (Wren) and the aeMagi.
Contents include rape, murder, and torture.
Ignore the title. No dragons, except in a game and a memory.
I enjoyed the narrator's dreamy voice with this story. It's exactly how I would expect Rialla's voice to sound like. The characters were distinctive from each other and she spoke in a consistently controlled cadence that was easy to listen to and understand.
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