As I mentioned in my last post I picked up The Cadet of Tildor because the author is coming to my work for an awesome panel on August 3rd. I read that it was a combination of Tamora Pierce and George R. R. Martin.
That kind of sounded right up my ally.
A lot of this book read as a tribute of sorts to Tamora Pierce. There are a lot of similarities in the situation to Kel but over all it reminded me most of Becca.
The main character, Renee, is the only girl in the military cadets, but where that was a major point in Tamora Pierce's work, it's mentioned and worked in as a sort of means to an end. Where Pierce's characters train until they're better than others, Renee is never quite shown in that light. She still struggles, her strength never matches the guys but she learns to work around it. I also think the tension with her father was well done, in that it has clearly set it up as something that is going to build.
Savoy is an awesome character. He's fierce and rough. He's not affectionate in general but you see these spots of softness in him. He's totally unyielding in regards to the law. I love that he doesn't compromise his morals for anything. He acted outside of the law before and feels as if he got what he deserved. I think there's so much potential in his relationship with his brother and his dislike for magic. It is seeming likely that Diam will be pushed toward Palan.
I think Alec was such a fascinating character but he was shoved off to quickly. The scenes he was in were so brilliant because with each action he took you could see his struggle between his old life and his new one. I really hope he'll be back in a big way later. It seems like he will be.
I will say this, Lidell's characters don't yet have the depth that Pierce manages. Mostly because we haven't gotten the chance to see them interact in a day-to-day way just yet. Pierce uses a lot of dialogue to show how they relate to each other. There's humor, or tension, or romance. Lidell had a lot of set-up to do this time around but she had some really fantastic dialogue when she had the chance. I just would have liked to see more of it. To see more of what kind of person Renee could be on a day to day basis.
A big thing to notice about this book is variety of moral discussion. Morality and the law play a huge factor in many of the events in the book. It's something that is constantly coming up. When is it okay to step outside of the law? Is it fair for a potentially dangerous population to be controlled? Lidell has thus far shown both sides of each of her issues. Examples are given for each instance and leave the reader to make their own decisions. It was really interesting to see what was going to come up and impact the characters views on what was going on. To see who was unyielding and who was torn. How people tried to reconcile two different views.
My only issue with this was that sometimes I would have liked the morality questions to fall back so the characters could shine more. But perhaps that's a balance that can come later. This is definitely an impressive debut.
I really enjoyed reading The Cadet of Tildor. If you like high fantasy that does fall somewhere between Tamora Pierce and George R.R. Martin (Leaning far closer to Tamora Pierce) I highly recommend picking it up.
Overall I give The Cadet of Tildor a rating of Massively Epic.
Have any of you read it? You should!
Next I'm reading Erin Bowman's Taken. Hopefully I'll finish that soon! Until later!