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Lying with Scorpions by Aleksandr Voinov
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Lying with Scorpions

by Aleksandr Voinov

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511,436,638 (3.75)None
Recently added byDreZ, Lymsleia

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We're getting closer and closer to that fifth star: this book addresses most of the minor problems I had with its predecessor and then proceeds to give me more of the things and characters I wanted to see more of. And Graukar is my favourite, because of course he is.

Spoilery thoughts:
So why's that last half star still missing? Bunch of little things, mostly. I found the ending a bit too abrupt but suppose it'll work better once the third part is out. (I wonder if book 3 will be the last one?) I also wasn't terribly fond of Kendras' obsession with what's in Amrash's pants. It makes sense, given his reaction to the tanesh/eunuchs in the first book, and seems to be a character development thing (he gets better about it) and oh boy does it ever exist in real life, but it's the sort of thing that I personally don't want to encounter in my fiction.

I also hope that the eventual resolution of the side(?) plot concerning Kendras' parentage is a satisfying one because the way he got a glimpse of his buried memories seemed a bit too convenient to me.

I enjoyed pretty much anything else about the book though: the author did a fantastic job at building suspense and a who-can-we-trust sort of paranoia in the second half of the book.(I said Graukar is my favourite, but do I trust him? Not quite; he seems almost too perfect in the way he both contrasts Adrastes and gives Kendras something he never even knew he wanted. On the one hand, I would really like for him to be as he appears, on the other hand I'm also convinced there's more to him than meets the eye. Hmm.)

I loved the Scorpions themselves of course, both new and old, and the way Kendras transforms them. This extends to all the doubt Kendras has about "ruining" them and how he slowly and perhaps subconsciously starts to be surer of himself and his direction for them when it's juxtaposed with what Adrastes has in mind for them.

And oh, Adrastes. In hindsight, it seems so clear that he could go from Adrastes-the-Officer from the first book, to Adrastes-the-King at the end of it/at the beginning of this one, all the way to Adrastes-the-Tyrant that we get glimpses of over the course of Lying with Scorpions. (The idealised image we got of him through Kendras' PoV throughout Scorpion certainly helped conceal that.) I would not have expected that I'd like this development but as it turns out, I do. It works.

Back to the Scorpions for a moment: More of them, please? I want for Runner to join them properly, and I want to see what becomes of the tradition of taking the potential Scorpions up the mountain. (Kendras clearly has his doubts about it and it reads very differently from his PoV as the Officer now than it did when we first heard about it in the first book, from a Kendras who was separated from the Scorpions and afraid he'd lost them all and who idolised everything the Officer did as much as he idolised the man himself.) (hide spoiler)]

And of course I want to know where all this politicking will lead, I want even more character development for Kendras because it feels like that's what at the heart of this series, and just generally more of all this. Moooore. ( )
  Lymsleia | Sep 25, 2014 |
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