on March 16, 2011 :
This book is obviously set in the middle of major upheavals in Sartorias-deles roughly a decade before Crown Duel, but all over the world. And if you haven't read some of CJ's Notebooks (very different style if you have only read Crown Duel or the Inda series) and Senrid you will be confused.
I had some problems with the huge number of characters who came freshly from their own adventures - that I hadn't read about yet - and were introduced to play a part in this arching plot only to be left behind again by the main heroes, which I would call Liere and Senrid (as the description says).
So read this book, if you already love various aspects of the Sartorias-deles world, you're getting a Senrid right after the novel of the same name and you get the introduction of Liere/Sartora which you know from A Stranger to Command. And there's more Clair Sherwood and her merry company(and the way they speak, so reading a Notebook would be a good idea) - and quite a lot of people who I'd like to know more about (the kids from Earth are actually the most boring in this books, but then they are taken out of action early on).
Leander Tlennen-Hess really comes into his own in this book. I keep hoping his adopted sister will grow up, but she's a liability in this book just like she was in Senrid. I want to see more of the pirate daughter.
I feel for Devon who may have enjoyed being needed but really gets put through the wringer in this one and who no one of her friends really feels comfortable with, because she rearranges everything.
I mean these are kids between 10 and 19 in the focus. And that's what they sound like. The grown-ups don't really believe their information most of the time, and when they do they plan around the kids. And so the action climax has the group being saved by an adult's sacrifice.
I do like that this crystallizes for the kids what they want to change about this, that they explore their powers more, that they build relationships with each other and especially that the gap between those that have JD and those that haven't may be narrowed, but is unlikely to be totally overcome - and that therefore the JD kids have to build their own family with each other, which they start doing here.
This is 450 pages in .epub format and the time skips over a year at least. Not everyone is saved - but the tiny romance between Winn and Faris - and their realization that they won't be of major use to people like Senrid, Liere and Arthur, but maybe their children may be - was very poignant for the short focus it got.
This book finally shows more of the now totally Norsunder Siamis (whom we met with somewhat different aims in the Inda books under a different name) whose evil is horrific because he seems to be righteous in his desires, but no more of Detlev than before.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)