Sixteen-year-old Rule is everything I imagined him to be and more in this great short story. Wilks leaves a comment at the top of the tale that suggests it be read after a few of the novels, get to know Rule before flashing back to his past. And honestly, it is a great suggestion. I have just read this short story after reading the first four books, and although it made his actions a little more predictable, it also made the story all the more enjoyable and the nuances of the characters a little more potent.
I enjoy anything set in the Jane Yellowrock world – it is always sassy, strong and constantly reminds you that no matter how odd you may be, there is somewhere in the world that you can fit in. If anything, I found this short story easier to relate to than the others so far – the twin Everhart witches are not only trying to cope with their sad past, but they are forced to confront a school bully. For those of us who have been bullied, we all imagine that day that we are reunited and can show that person how wonderful we are now that we’re not in school. When you’ve found a place in society that you can actually fit into, you want to show others that all of the hurt in the past doesn’t matter anymore (even when it does). The Devil’s Left Boot allows the twin witches to do this. And it works brilliantly.
Kitten is such a beautiful character – not only because she is a dragon, but she constantly helps Daine throughout her journeys in The Immortals Quartet. But, since, she isn’t able to communicate with her foster parents, it’s kind of hard to understand how she truly feels about what is happening around her. The Dragon’s Tale shows us Daine and Numair years down the track, and also gives Kitten a beautifully strong voice.
I liked the intersection of The Hidden Girl with Elder Brother. It is subtle and only a fleeting moment, but it looks at a culture and a non-Tortallan country from two vastly different standpoints. Yet, both put forward a woman’s plight and fight for power. The Hidden Girl is a great reminder that we all go about things in our own ways, and there is not one right was in which to find power in your own world.
I love reading stories about how difficult it is to be human, and to understand all of the weird little social cues that we insist on performing. Although, writing a story about this in a way that is interesting and still flows well can be difficult. Sometimes, when trying to re-explain our actions, the words come of contrived and false. But, as with everything Pierce writes, this is not the case.
The first few sentences left me incredibly attached to Kai, in a way that rarely happens in such a short period of time. Her supernatural abilities were also something that I had never imagined or heard of before, yet, they seem like an incredible ability to possess. Partner this intriguingly vulnerable character with Nathan, and a serial murderer, and this is one of my favourite short stories.
I loved that although this story still centred around Rule and Lily, the focus slowly shifted onwards to Cynna and Cullen’s weird and unorthodox attraction to each other. As usual, these romantic entanglements were complicated by the presence of magic and mayhem as She continues to progress her attacks on the lupi. And to further confuse an already conflicted situation, the rules and laws of the lupi societies make what would have once been a simple homicide investigation for Lily to become an intricate dance of politics, power and passion.
I first read this book over a year ago, and, quite frankly found it a bit tedious. Mostly due to the fact that it seemed to take a very random turn after Tempting Danger. However, after reading the short Originally Human and letting go of my preconceptions of werewolf tales, I fell madly in love with this tale. The battle between the Lupi and Her is a far more intricate and complex arching story than I had originally believed. Although I’m not used to being so thoroughly thrust into such an epic battle early in a series, it works wonderfully when you finally pay attention.
What a stunning conclusion to an already amazing quartet. Daine’s heritage, war and place in life are finally cemented by her trip to the realm of the gods – literally. Even her powers fully come to the fore in this tale as she grasps who she is and what she is able to do. Finally, the Immortals War reaches its conclusion, Daine becomes an adult and Ozorne is bought to justice.
The politics of war perplex me, for example, you’re not technically at war until both sides admit that you are – at least, that’s one of the main things that I learnt from The Emperor Mage. That, and you really shouldn’t piss off someone with power. Or underestimate them for that matter.