on April 27, 2013 :
Flight of Shadows is brilliant!
Intrigue, betrayal, sedition, murder and magic fill the pages of this brilliantly written, fast-paced sequel to C.M.J Wallace’s Sing the Midnight Stars. The second book does not disappoint: Just as in the first, there are surprises at every turn and the supremely competent, beautifully descriptive writing brings the world of Carvel alive and is an absolute pleasure to read. Don’t miss out on the continuing saga of Torvia’s chief detective Andrin Sethuel as he attempts to capture the serial killer who is terrorizing the city and save the kingdom from imminent invasion by its worst enemy.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
on April 24, 2013 :
Sing the Midnight Stars was brilliant. Does book two of the Rift series match the brilliance of that volume? On the whole the answer has to be 'yes'!
Flight of Shadows is, necessarily, a more complex volume for it must begin to pull some of the threads together into a coherent whole. It does so with skill and compassion. It also does so in a more psychologically complex way that pits Andrin against himself and against the several women in his life.
There is a resolution to one of the primary threads in this volume. I wasn't surprised by the resolution although I still hadn't solved that mystery for myself. It made sense, and that is important. Too often these kinds of threads will either be obvious from the start and the suspense is never there, or resolution comes through a deux ex machina move by the author.
Characters are strong, suspense is present in spades, there are moments when I want to throttle a character for their perfectly reasonable but oh so frustrating choices, and the integrity of Wallace's sub-creation is untarnished. The language of the book remains an absolute joy--sophisticated without being elitist, rich without being cloying--and very well edited.
Criticisms? I'm still not sure about the queen. She was too one dimensional in the first volume. We see more of her psychology in this volume but I'm not quite convinced!
I also found the ending not quite satisfying. A final assassination attempt, maybe? Or Andrin going off the deep end for a moment? Or … ? It does all makes sense and the psychology of it is fine. It just feels a little too easy, I guess.
But these are minor niggles. This is a superb book--well written and engaging. It is clearly a book which sits within a series rather than on its own but it also, very cleverly, completes one of the arcs of the original book.
If you enjoyed the first book (and how could you not) then this is a wonderful continuation of the series. If you haven't read the first book yet, then go and read it, then come back, snuggle into a comfortable chair, grab a delicious snack or two, and enjoy this one.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)