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Irons in the Fire by Juliet E. McKenna
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943197,046 (3.25)1
Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution is an incredible fantasy trilogy that tells of political upheaval born of civil war in the country of Lescar. Carved out of the collapse of the Old Tormalin Empire, the land has long been laid waste by its rival dukes, while bordering nations look on with indifference or exploit its misery. Now a mismatched band of exiles and rebels are agreed that the time has come for change. Can a small group, however determined, put an end to generations of intractable misery? Perhaps After all, a few stones falling in the right place can set a landslide in motion. But who can predict what the consequences will be, when all the dust has settled?… (more)
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I liked this book. There were some things that stood out. The cover was intriguing enough for me to flip it over and read the back material. I like politically motivated matter so this became a reason to acquire it.

I started to read it nearly after I bought it, and I have quite a backlog of other books to read. So that was intriguing. It begins with an analysis travelogue of the area of McKenna's world and this is almost irrelevant to the story you do read. You do need some background material, but our main characters do seem to cover all of it as we start reading the story.

What is wrong with this book is three things. Too many repetitions of which Duke does what to whom and why, all the politics of this divided realm kept straight by McKenna but I found that I did not need to do so to enjoy it. The sense of time is the next, where letters travel faster then people. Rumors reach the spymasters all across the world so quickly that they need not use letters. And that things that are completely secret are not when the spymaster needs to know a thing.

That part is just wrong. A secret known by two is something that can't be found out by your extraneous spy who should be focusing on bigger issues. I can imagine a spy telling their boss that they had enough time to pursue a little piece of information, or the spymasters (There are 2) that they have so much time in their day that they can get the littlest piece of information from who knows what source and it turns out to be pivotal.

The last is the Aetheric magic system, which is find except for one thing. They need to bring in extra practitioners so they can communicate, but then they have one connection where they don't. The first is just able to happen. If that is the case then they don't need anyone else and a whole subplot makes no sense. Which a whole subplot makes no sense. Never explained well, overused a great deal.

Aside from those issues this would be a better read. Even to being a reread, depending on how the series finishes up. ( )
  DWWilkin | Sep 11, 2010 |
Irons in the Fire, the first in a new series from a new publisher for McKenna, is set in the same well-formed and intriguing universe as her Einarinn and Aldabreshin Compass series.

Revolution is brewing in Einarinn - specifically, there is unrest in the coastal region of Lescar, which was originally a province of the old Tormalin Empire. Not that there is ever anything else in Lescar. When the Empire withdrew from its western lands, Lescar continued to be ruled by its former governors. For centuries, the six Dukes have fought to hold the throne of Lescar. It is not so much a country as a morass of mutually-hostile dukedoms, whose incumbents are engaged ceaselessly in making war on each other, and in squeezing out every last drop of Lescari blood and capital to fund those wars. This tale describes the formation of a conspiracy to overthrow the Dukes of Lescar and release the common people from their savagery.

Recommended for McKenna fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of armed conflict, various magics, and political intrigue. ( )
  Jawin | Dec 21, 2009 |
i was interested enough in the plot and ideas to skim though it, reading about one/third of the more than 600 pages. It's way to long. it could have been great/good and it wasn't, i will try the next one anyway. ( )
  Janientrelac | Nov 18, 2009 |
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Lescar remains a divided and fractious land with the prospect of unity beneath any undisputed High King as unlikely as it has been for these past ten generations.
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The country of Lescar was carved out of the collapse of the Old Tormalin Empire. Every generation has seen the land laid waste by rival dukes fighting for the High King’s empty crown. Tathrin’s parents apprenticed him in the distant city of Vanam to escape the recurrent skirmishes. He meets Aremil, another Lescari albeit from another dukedom, whose parents have their own reasons for sending him so far away. These two young men cannot forget their homeland. Can they persuade other exiles with Lescari blood that something must be done to relieve their kinfolk’s misery? If they can persuade Branca, the down-to-earth scholar, to share the ancient lore which she has studied, then this mismatched band of commoners, merchants and nobles can begin plotting a revolution.

Meanwhile, back in Lescar, Failla, a duke’s beautiful mistress, is risking her own life to help those already secretly working to frustrate their feudal lords’ selfish ambitions. Will Litasse, Duchess of Triolle, and Hamare, the duke’s spymaster, uncover this conspiracy before the exiles can join forces with these hidden rebels? Hamare’s ruthless right-hand man Karn already has his suspicions.

Full of rich characters and high adventure, this novel marks the beginning of a thrilling new fantasy series.
[retrieved from Amazon, 11/27/12]
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