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The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley
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The Providence of Fire

by Brian Staveley

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Just plan on picking up the third book immediately after you finish this one. Budget for it, reserve a credit, do what you have to do.
  R.E.Stearns | Aug 15, 2017 |
This could very well shape out to be one of my favorite fantasy series, if it continues on the path Staveley has begun. While I found the first book in this series good, I found the second even better.
While the first book set the stage and introduced us to the main players, this second installment has completely changed the entire game and has shifted the story in such a new way, I was completely blown away. I did not want to put the book down!
The story started at a run and never let up, throwing in twists and turns that were wholly unexpected along the way. He is weaving such an intricate adventure here, that is hard to figure out, which makes for such an excellent read. I tend to be good, I like to think, at figuring things out early in books, and this one had me guessing. Who is the villain? Just when you think you know, Staveley makes you question it. He has kept you on your toes with this novel.
The characters are strong and unique and captivating, making you so invested in where their story lines take them. Most notably the story arc for Adare was the strongest of the book in my opinion. In Emperor's Blade she is barely seen and has very little character development or progression, while in this book her character really comes a long way and seems to have the most growth. Her brothers though, while perhaps having less change or growth, still feel like completely fleshed out and unique characters. One of my favorite aspects is that even though the three main protagonists are siblings, they are completely different and nothing alike, which creates such a great dynamic for storytelling.
Some new side characters are brought into the mix as well that add a new dynamic that wasn't in the first installment. Even characters like Triste, who in the first book felt almost like a throwaway character takes on a much bigger role here, that was completely unexpected.
Stavely includes some great fantasy elements in his world that just feel so epic and intriguing in a unique and new way. While at times I began to think, I've read this before, he would throw something new into the mix that would shake it all up. The writing is just top notch here.
This is a series to read, most definitely and I cannot wait to continue on to the third installment! ( )
  Kiddboyblue | Aug 4, 2017 |
A fantastic continuation of the story of the three siblings on their quest to regain their throne. The book has a lot more exploration of the world and the different civilizations. It follows the three siblings more equally and lets each shine in their own, individual way. Not only are the protagonists great, the supporting characters are even better. The only character that is a bit weak in development is Adare. While she was one of my favorites in the beginning, eventually nothing she did made much sense. The writing is great, with descriptions of scenery, emotions, and action being very engaging. The storyline is incredible with no clear villain or hero. The ending isn't as clean as the first book, leaving quite an opening for the next book to take over. I'm really enjoying this series. ( )
  renbedell | May 12, 2016 |
Jesus H Roosevelt Christ! I just have to gather some wittitude before reviewing, cause words aren't forthcoming at this time. Far the hell out.. Just.. Wow. ( )
  BookFrivolity | Apr 23, 2016 |
This complicated fantasy series is based on a rather simple premise: the Emperor, Sanlitun, has been killed by an act of treachery, and his kingdom is in turmoil. His two sons have been off acquiring extracurricular skills: the heir, Kaden, 17, has been at a monastery, and his brother Valyn has been training to be one of the elite special forces. The oldest child, Adare, is a female and therefore ineligible to succeed Sanlitun, but she is the only one actually in residence at the Dawn Palace, and so has to deal with the turmoil in the government.

The chapters take us back and forth between how the competing forces unleashed after the death of the Emperor affect his three children. There is a lot of brutality and violence, some competing gods that manipulate the chess pieces on the earthen board, and some interesting ideas about what is to be valued about life in this fantasy universe. And, although civilization is at a fairly primitive level, there are gates that allow people to tele-transport through “thousands of leagues in the blink of an eye.”

This series has some superficial features in common with the Robin Hobb “Farseer" books, but with none of the expert character development and “heart” that makes Hobb such a beloved writer. It’s also interesting that, unlike the Hobb books, there are no characters in this series that - so far, at any rate - are truly admirable or heroic. On the contrary, even the “heroes” are very, very flawed. (I’ve seen a lot of criticism about how Staveley has written his female characters, but in truth, I don’t see the males as being all that much better, although they get more “air time” in the series.)

Nevertheless, there are some aspects to the plot that are unique and worth consideration. Does a world without the extremes of emotion function more smoothly? And if it does, is this world without hope, courage, fear, hate, and love, worth living in?

Evaluation: This book picks up right where the first left off and ends also in a bit of a cliff-hanger; it is definitely not a standalone. We learn a lot of the secrets not revealed in the first book, and lose some of the best characters, but the author definitely gained my attention with the plot developments, and I eagerly await the third volume.

Get ready for lots of torture and killing. As one of the characters argues:

“People kill to get power, they kill to keep power, and they kill if they think they might lose it, which is pretty much always.”

And that pretty much summarizes much of the story. ( )
  nbmars | Dec 2, 2015 |
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The world of the Annurian Empire is an ambitiously drawn one. Adare, Valyn, and Kaden, the three children of the assassinated emperor, go their separate ways and find themselves embroiled in inevitable conflict.

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