So a few weeks back, I preordered Sharon Shinn’s latest novel in the fantasy world of Welce, Jeweled Fire, which follows Troubled Waters and Royal Airs.
While Royal Airs followed Josetta, former princess of the realm, this one follows her younger ‘sister’, Corene. Disheartened not to be considered in the royal succession anymore, the sweela girl (blessed by fire and mind) has left Welce much to the horror of her father, the Regent, to follow the Empress Filomera of Malinqua with her newly appointed guard Foley (who until then was protecting Josetta).
There she intends to seduce one of the empress’s nephews in the hope of becoming the next ruler of Malinqua. There she finds that even though she’s been brought up in a court of intrigue, she may not be armes to deal with the deception and constant power struggle. Yet she also makes new friends and tries to find her own path.
While I found this chapter not to be as surprising or as refreshing as the others, I still enjoyed the depth of the characters and how they bring their own quirks and specifities to archetypal characters. They are relatable whether you like them or not. It’s actually fun – borderline hilarious – to realise this character annoys me or repulses me or makes me laugh. I get caught in their indiosyncracies. I love it!
Unlike the first volume I wasn’t surprised by the outcome of the main plot and unlike the second I expected the relationship tying the second POV character with the powers of the first. But I still got a few twists and intersting development and I enjoy the invitations to reflect on the differences and commonalities in the way different cultures, countries see the world in both its physical and spiritual sense. I guess with the events of the past week it spoke to me even more.
Another really good read. On a side note, I’m glad I have an ereader too because it would have cost me 35€ to get the hard cover book delivered. Ouch.