Deadly Games by Lindsay Buroker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: high fantasy with a touch of steam, a dash of magic and the tiniest sprinkle of romance
I'm not sure I can accurately describe how much I love this series. Lindsay Buroker nails it again in the third instalment. This edition is easily as cinematic as the previous two. You could transcribe it word for word onto the big screen and hold me riveted.
These characters continue to grow and endear themselves to me. Funnily enough, the character that struck me as the most changed was Maldynado. He really has become a rather loyal fellow who looks out for... well, Amaranthe, but there were several "Aww, the big softie" moments. I think he is acting more and more like her big brother (albeit one that doesn't get possessive or expect her to be chaste - we can leave that to Sicarius).
Akstyr worries me. He is useful, but I don't think he has formed the type of bonds for Amaranthe as the others have. She is the glue that holds them together, and he isn't quite as attached. I think when we get his point of view, we might see things differently, but I am expecting a surprise from him.
Amaranthe continues to be a lady to admire. She doesn't have to resort to seduction or lies to convince people to join her cause. Her humanity and passion do that. But I see a few cracks of doubt appearing here and there, which should open some interesting discussions going forward. I'd actually like to see how Sicarius might deal with her moments of doubt. She's always kept such a positive face for him. Especially since he is depending on her planning to bring him... well, potentially two rewards now.
Basilard was 100% correct. Amaranthe humanises Sicarius. But then, she brings the best out in each member of that team. I'm glad Basilard did not go through with his plan.
That epilogue was brilliant (as was the scene preceding it, but I truly do not want to spoil it for everyone who SHOULD be reading this book). What a brilliant tease for the next chapter in this series, which I hope I won't hound the author for too much in the coming months.
Bottom line: Awesome storytelling. Engaging and unique characters. Flawless eBook. On my top ten list of books I've read in 2011 (which also includes the other two). Must read.
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