1. 'The Hunger Games' -Suzanne Collins
2. 'Alanna the First Adventure' -Tamora Pierce
3. 'Anna Dressed in Blood' -Kendare Blake
4. 'In the Hand of the Goddess' -Tamora Pierce
5. 'Graceling' -Kristin Cashore
6. 'The Woman Who Rides Like a Man' -Tamora Pierce
7. 'The Name of the Star' -Maureen Johnson
8. 'Lioness Rampant' -Tamora Pierce
9. 'Tale of Two Cities' -Charles Dickens
10. 'Wild Magic' -Tamora Pierce
11. 'Catching Fire' -Suzanne Collins
12. 'Wolf Speaker' -Tamora Pierce
13. 'Matched' -Ally Condie
14. 'Emperor Mage' -Tamora Pierce
15. 'Divergent' -Veronica Roth
Okay, now that that's done. Ahem.
I plan to do a series of posts about my experience with the reading list. Including an overview, favorites, least favorites, etc. It will end in a post with the new list. There's some life stuff going on in Amy-world so it may take me some time.
And now on to The Realms of the Gods.
This is the epic conclusion to Tamora Pierce's The Immortals quartet. In this one Daine and Numair travel to the Divine realma. It parallels Alanna's journey in Lioness Rampant as they travel involving the gods and return in time for the final fight. But it's not exactly the same.
One of the coolest things about this book is seeing the gods and how they operate and also Seeing the different immortals and learning how they relate to one another. We finally get to meet some more dragons and they are every bit as wise and clever as they were previously described. The animals gods coexist with the understanding that they have to hunt each other since only gods live in the Divine Realms. It's kind of an odd balance but it makes sense and it works.
Among the gods that we become better acquainted with are Daine's parents. It is fun to see them interact with one another and with Daine. You can see some of the characteristics Daine gets from each of them. Sarra's compassion and mothering. Weiryn's wry wit and stubbornness. I have to admit, for some reason I loved Weiryn immediately. It's probably the sarcasm thing, I do love good sarcasm. When those traits come out in Daine is usually when I love her best.
Aside from seeing how Daine and her parents relationship works, we get to see the change in the relationship between Daine and Numair. There are definite hints of the romance in Emperor Mage. At least there are signs of Numair's affection for Daine. It is not until The Realms of the Gods that it becomes really evident. They work off of each other very well and are as well suited for one another as Pierce intends them to be. I've read this book a number of times and there are still scenes between them that I go back and reread.
That being said the relationship still manages to come off a little abrupt. It almost seems as if Daine doesn't understand what exactly it is that she's feeling and that might be okay but next to Numair it makes her look a bit childish. Pierce drops hints that Numair's feelings for Daine were acknowledged far before her own for him. He has the focus locket that is more like a lover's token, etc. He knew he was in love with her. It comes across as this really odd combination of thinking 'Finally!' and 'Wait...what?'
Though I have to admit they have some of the best reunion/goodbye scenes. I am not sure I've ever seen two characters think the other is dead so many times.
My other issue with this book lies in that, as cool as the divine realms are they weren't suited for keeping up the tension. There is a war. King Jonathan is stuck in a siege on Legann. Thayet isn't allowed to go into battle because then both rulers will be at risk. This should be tense! But instead of riding this tension, we are only given glimpses of them struggling while Daine and Numair are off getting tempted at the lake and splashed by giant swamp creatures. They didn't hold what should have been edge of the seat worry.
Additionally, She brought up some things (like which immortal creatures drank from the tainted lake and are thus tainted with Chaos) and then never did anything with that. Chaos tainted gods could have been awesome. The main problem, I think is again the length of the book. If it were longer some of these things could have been examined more closely.
Daine plays an important part of the fight but she shows up at the end with a series of immortals and fixes everything. The twisted side of me wanted to see someone die. This was a big war and after the multiple casualties in Lioness Rampant it strikes me as off that no one we know died in The Realms of the Gods. This is the cynical side of me and is probably why I kill off so many characters but these things happen.
Overall Rating (making a graphic I swear!): Totally Epic.
I tried not to compare this series with the Alanna books too much. When I was younger I liked Daine much better but this time I think I prefer Alanna. I won't go too much into this because I'll talk about it in one of my wrap-up posts.
I hope to have the first post up after work tonight. Until then,