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on March 07, 2013 :
Plague digs into a section of history of Cymelia and the (current) Lord Alchemist. When I first began reading it I was pleasantly surprised to find the book was written as ‘letters’ from the cast of characters to the others. Since one of my favorite books of all time is written like this (Bram Stoker’s Dracula) I was pretty stoked. Unfortunately, I was quickly disabused of this as the narrative switched from ‘letter’ to ‘person’. I found it jarring and couldn’t settle into the familiar rhythm I found so easy to get myself wrapped up in with Herb-Witch and Herb-Wife. That’s not to say it’s bad it’s sort of like whistling a jaunty tune and then humming it every third of the way. I didn’t like the way it flowed. It might be just me. Maybe I’m a persnickety bastard. No, correction I am a persnickety bastard. Still McCoy’s lively writing, witty dialogue, and attention to detail remain top-notch and more than makes up for what I consider this one failing. While reading Plague isn’t required for any of her other Cymelia novels I recommend it as it gives insight into some of the key characters of her other works.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Jan. 27, 2013 :
I agree with the previous reviewer that this book really whets one's appetite for the following stories.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Jan. 17, 2013 :
A prequel to the Herb-Witch/Herb-Wife duology, this rather grim little story gives depth and weight to Iathor, the male protagonist of the Lord Alchemist books. His serious, responsible character is illuminated during a time of trial. It can be read as a stand-alone story, but, warning, it will whet your appetite for the books to which it is an excellent prequel.
(reviewed the day of purchase)