Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Song of Unmaking - Caitlin Brennan (9/10)

Like my previous read, The Dawn Star, Song of Unmaking started out slowly and I was worried that I was going to struggle to read it. It seemed to suffer from that danger that strikes a second book - lack of new action and more consolidation than story. I was happy to be proved wrong.

The beginning shows both Kerrec and Valeria being typically stubborn and refusing to let anyone know they are still damaged from the events of the first book.

Once that is revealed the action really begins, as Kerrec is exiled from the Mountain and Valeria follows him. From there they find themselves still inextricably linked to the fate of the world and now Kerrec's sister Briana has been pulled in as well, linked to the horse gods as well as the empire as the emperor's heir.

I particularly liked the parallels drawn between Kerrec and Briana, bith called to duty by both the empire and the Mountain. Before this, each thought they had to choose one or the other, where now it becomes clear that each is both and they must work together. For Kerrec the Mountain's call is stronger and he will be a rider, but he still has a destiny and duty to the empire as well. For Briana it is the reverse, her greatest call is to the empire and she will be Empress, but she is still called to the Mountain and accompanied now by one of the Ladies of the horse gods. Each has their own place, but each needs to accept the other part of their destiny and their best change to salvage the future is together.

As for Valeria, again she finds that she really is more than "just a Rider" but she begins to realise that raw power isn't enough and she still has much to learn for both her and Sabata to come into their power.

Her relationship with Kerrec is almost non-existent at the beginning of the book following the damage he suffered and the darkness she carries. It slowly builds and changes and is something strong by the end, which was lovely to see.

The visit to Valeria's family at the end was a treat, even if the reason why was sad, and I hope we see more of all of them as the series continues.

I'm glad I have book three on order and I'm lookikng forward to more of the story. I did read somewhere that the story may be going to be six volumes, so the thought that it will take at least another three years to get to the end is a little bit of a downer.

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