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Ironcrown Moon by Julian May
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Ironcrown Moon

by Julian May

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BOREAL MOON
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
In the second book of this trilogy, events continue to move along in a fairly predictable fashion. However, some new characters and a new behind the scenes plot is finally revealed. Unfortunately, that doesn't make this trilogy much more interesting. Through this book, I had an increasing feeling that it wasn't really going anywhere. There's something missing in this series, and I think it shows up particularly in the lack of engaging characters. The primary character is the Sovereign, Conrig, but is he really? He has serious character flaws and few redeeming features, and it almost seems like we are not meant to get engaged with him as a major character. . The hero from the first book, Snudge, is still there, but is driven by events, rather than driving them. The rest of the characters are mostly villains, and it seems like there are far too many of them. There also seems to be an underlying plot or theme that I missed, or maybe its just not there.
As a big fan of the Pliocene Exile, this was disappointing. ( )
  Karlstar | Feb 1, 2011 |
The Boreal Moon Tale continues in Ironcrown Moon, and is as enjoyable as the first book. The truth behind the larger conflict that underlies all the struggles we have seen begins to unfold, which is nice. These books are not blowing me away like the Pliocene Exile series did, but are good, solid works nonetheless. ( )
  lithicbee | Feb 16, 2010 |
(Amy) I had a very difficult time getting into the first book of the Boreal Moon Tale, Conqueror's Moon, which I think was because I didn't much like the viewpoint character (Deveron Austry, aka Snudge), and I didn't much like the guy he was working for, either, even if he is a king. Well, I've now read the second book, and I still don't like the king, but Snudge is growing on me. I think. Enough that I'm going to read the third one, anyway.

I do find the magic structure of this universe rather interesting, though. There is what is called "talent", which gives one the ability to scry and to both speak and listen on the wind - watching and talking at a distance, basically, though the communication can only be between two talented speakers. In addition, there are "sigils" - carved moonstone widgets that, if properly activated, allow the user to Do Stuff. The Stuff varies by sigil, but there's a price - the power is granted by a mysterious group called, variously, the Greater Lights, the Coldlight Army, and the Beaconfolk - supernatural beings of some sort, who feed, creepily enough, on pain. And so, the use of the sigils is purchased by a quantity of pain proportionate to the magnitude of the magic the sigil in question works. Rather horrific, really, though it's a clever way to keep magic from being the solution to all problems, as can fairly easily happen in some fantasy works.

In this book, Deveron is sent to investigate the possibility that his king's first wife, believed to have died after leaping from a tower into the ocean, is not only alive but has a son that would be his heir, if true. While on this quest, a trove of sigils is stolen from the castle, and there is that to be dealt with as well. Really, though, I found the action less than compelling, and the author's tendency to have characters bring up the same handful of vital plot points in their internal musings half a dozen times throughout the book was incredibly irritating, if not slightly insulting. Trust your readers to pick up on it when you hint in the first place. Or if you don't, then at least find a different way to point it out a second time, because really, it is Not Necessary to harp so on things.

And in the interest of not harping, I shall leave off talking about that. Despite that flaw, I really did enjoy the book. This world is a fascinating place, and I enjoy exploring it even when I don't necessarily like my traveling companions or the voiceover, and I'm looking forward to my next trip, in Sorceror's Moon.

( http://weblog.siliconcerebrate.com/zenos-library/2007/10/ironcrown-moon-julian-m... )
  libraryofus | Nov 2, 2007 |
Many books that fall second in a pre-planned trilogy suffer from ESB (Empire Strikes Back) Syndrome, and this one comes close, however, May's superb handling of her character's lives smooths over the bumps as we learn a great deal more about the nature of the Coldlight Army and gain knowledge of an ancient conflict in the sky realm.
I only wish that the happiness Snudge finds at the end of this book would survive the third, but we all know it won't. ( )
1 vote donal | Aug 11, 2006 |
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Epigraph
FINAL VERSE OF THE BLOSSOM MOON SONG, AN ANCIENT CATHRAN BALLAD

Down in the waters, cold and deep,
My true love has gone to eternal sleep.
   Long will I wait for his returning,
   Hoping, my heart afire with yearning.
In Blossom Moon, in Blossom Moon, it will never be.
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An unexpected thing happened last night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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King Conrig Ironcrown now rules the entire island of High Blenholme. But the peace he achieved after ruthlessly uniting its four quarrelling kingdoms into a Sovereignty is about to be challenged by enemies both mortal and supernatural. Originally published: London: HarperCollins, 2004.… (more)

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