Because the first review of High King’s Vengeance came in over the Fantasycon weekend, it kind of slipped under the blogging radar somewhat, so I’m going to take the opportunity to point you to it now.
Paul at The Eloquent Page was kind enough to read Heir to the North last year, and also to say nice things about it. I wondered what he would have to say about the sequel – would it live up to his expectations?
Viewed on its own, The High King’s Vengeance is a well-executed epic fantasy that is bound to please many a genre fan. As the second part of a much larger story, it is something far better. Seeds that were sown way back at the beginning of the first book suddenly become relevant, and there are a host of splendidly brain-melting revelations.
I get the distinct impression that though Cassia’s story has drawn to a close, there are other tales of Caenthell, Hellea and Galliarca still to be told. I do hope so, I’d be more than happy to read them.
I think that’s a “yes”. 🙂
You can read the full review over here, and I respectfully submit that The Eloquent Page is very worthy of your time if you’re looking for opinions on something new to read.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, this review came in for Heir to the North:
I do wish, however, that this novel didn’t join the apparently infinite ranks of “Gender-as-Obstacle,” in which the female lead is oppressed/undervalued/underestimated chiefly or entirely because she’s female. That Cassia is very much a Smurfette, with never a single meaningful interaction with another woman, only makes this worse, as it gives me a depressing impression of the world she inhabits.
OK, with hindsight, guilty as charged. It wasn’t something I even thought about when I wrote HTTN, and I suspect that’s rather the point. Other people have made the same point in passing, though not as bluntly as this reviewer. (And that bluntness isn’t a bad thing either. Nor am I quoting the review here so that others can pile on the reviewer. Don’t ever do that. Seriously.)
I’d like to think that I’m a slightly wiser person now than I was when I wrote Heir to the North. I’m certainly more aware of what I have written and how I wrote it. You may not find too much of a progression in High King’s Vengeance (it was written before HTTN was even signed by Kristell Ink), but you will in future projects.
And so I respectfully submit that Kelley Ceccato is very worthy of your time if you’re looking for opinions on something new to read.