Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Epic Reading List Mark Two Updated: Trickster's Queen

List Mark Two Updated: 5/13
1. Mockingjay -Suzanne Collins

2. First Test -Tamora Pierce
3. Darkness Falls -Cate Tiernan
4. Page -Tamora Pierce

5. Where Things Come Back -John Corey Whaley
6. Squire -Tamora Pierce
7. Beautiful Darkness -Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
8. Lady Knight -Tamora Pierce
9. Cinder -Marissa Meyer
10. Trickster's Choice -Tamora Pierce
11. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
12. Trickster's Queen -Tamora Pierce
13. Halfway to the Grave -Jeanine Frost
14. Tortall and Other Lands -Tamora Pierce
15. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer -Michelle Hodkin

I know, it's been ages but instead of giving you an excuse I'm just going to dive in.

Trickster's Queen. I enjoy Trickster's Queen more than I do Trickster's Choice. Choice was almost all set-up for the events in  Queen. Generally that's fine but it too a little too long to get into the characters, which is unusual for Tamora Pierce. However, with all of that done, Queen is able to dive right into the story and the wonderful character interactions, for which I love Tamora Pierce.

I enjoy Aly's character far more in this book. I think it's because she grew out of her whining and learned to take responsibility. By the start of Queen she has learned that not everything is a game. There's a a difference between levity and making a mockery of things. She's grown into such a fun character. My only regret with her at the end of Queen is that we do not get to see enough of her interacting with Alanna. I know I always rave about the older characters, but that's not what I mean. Aly spends a great deal of both books talking about what she'll say to Alanna and how she understands her more but we don't get to see that. That one moment between them wasn't poignant enough. I understand there's a difference between thinking of what you'll say and then saying it and I'm okay with that, I just wanted a better moment.

I loved Dove in this book. I mentioned that in Choice she was a lot like Maura in Wolf Speaker but had more page time. I still stand by that to a point. They are similar but Dove is a bit more grown up, but we also haven't seen Maura in a while. Dove is intelligent and wise and everything that she needed to be. Before the trade in monarchs I kept waiting for the characters to realize it.

Which leads me to Sarai. I am usually all for the characters who follow their hearts but Sarai was just grating. She could never have ruled. I know she didn't know about the plans to install her on the throne but her shallow density made me want to shake the Hell out of her.

My favorite side character is, without a doubt, Taybur Sibigat. He has such a small role and I love him. His dedication to Dunevon and wit are undeniably charming. I would have loved to have seen more about him.

Since the characters know Aly now, we did get to see some wonderful interactions which also led us to some great reactions from Aly. She wrestled with herself a lot in Queen. Her affection for Nawat and the danger he was in. The deaths of the children. It was handled wonderfully. Even without the letters from home scenes in the first one I didn't find myself missing the older characters as I did before, in Choice.

The way death is handled in this book is also wonderful. It's not casually done but it doesn't make a huge deal of it either. They knew people were going to die and Pierce gave us so many characters that it would have been naive to assume that they'd all make it out alive. They knew the dangers. That being said, as sad as Elsren's death was, Junai's was the hardest. I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps because she was just this quiet yet snarky presence that was always just kind of there and badass. But that wiped out that family. Ochobu, Ulasim, and Junai were all killed.

As much as I wasn't a fan of Sarai I never thought the rebellion had fallen apart when she left. This time around I knew it was coming, but even before I wasn't convinced. Of course they had Dove! She was far better suited for the position anyway! I wanted to worry a little. Doubt or momentarily forget about Dove or something.

I thought it was so cool to see how it all broke down and how the regents dug themselves into holes. Pierce laid it all out so it was easy to follow without being insulting. This was another of those books that had me a little interested in politics. I like seeing the battle plans and why they work the way they do. It's fun.

Overall I give Trickster's Queen a rating of Massively Epic.

Pierce shows off her grasp on people, politics, and battle in this one.

Next is my non Y-A and Mum book selection Jeanine Frost's Halfway to the Grave. She and my eldest sister rave about these books.

Weigh in Wednesday tomorrow, my ducks.


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