book reviews by Althea

Autumn Princess, Dragon Child – Lian Hearn (DNF)

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Autumn Princess, Dragon Child
Autumn Princess, Dragon Child by Lian Hearn

DNF at 24%, no rating.

I really want to like this story more than I do. I read the first one, and convinced myself that I would get more into it if I just gave the second one a chance… but it’s not happening. I had it sitting around a few months and just wasn’t compelled to start it – and now I’m not feeling compelled to finish it.

The events here follow directly upon those of ‘Emperor of the Eight Islands’ – I read that this ‘Tale of Shikanoko’ was actually written as one story and divided into parts by the publisher, and that seems entirely likely.

At this point, Shikanoko has become an adult warrior, but after a defeat, he has returned to his sorcerous mentor – who gives him the responsibility of raising five magical children, who are partly his offspring. Meanwhile, plenty of other events are going on with other characters – plots, jostlings for power, disinheritings, &c. It’s the *sort* of story I like, but I find the narrative style very distancing – at no point do I feel drawn into the action, emotionally involved, or like I’m inside any of the characters’ heads. Obviously, I’m in the minority here… many people love this book, so it’s probably just me. But life is short, and books are numerous…

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