Power & Majesty by Tansy Rayner Roberts
I know in a previous post I didn't seem too impressed with this book. I still am not overly loving it BUT I did, in the end, enjoy it. So here is my review. There were certain parts where I felt they really needed a lot more work, and other parts that actually started to flow well. I will read the next book- just to see what this whole war is actually about!
The first 85 or so pages of this book, I hated it. I would come to work whinging about how absolutely nothing was making sense, how the characters were confusing, and the constant jumping from a memory to the present was driving me freaking crazy. But I did persevere and I am glad I did.
The story starts when the main character Velody sees two young teens fall out of the sky, stark naked and with one of them off their face. One of these guys confronts her without the other knowing, and steals a power that she has no idea she possesses. Velody has no idea that she is actually a member of the Creature Court, a secret society of humans who can turn into a certain animal (everyone is different) to fight the battle of the sky at night, when the city folk have no idea what is happening. But whilst they are protecting the city from falling, they fight amongst themselves, acting as animals really. Everyone is constantly on edge about who is going to kill who to gain more power and move themselves along the hierarchy of power.
Twelve years later, Velody has forgotten about the naked boys and moved on with her life. She is now a Dressmaker living with two friends in the city, and gets commissioned to make a dress for the Duchess ( I forget what she called the woman who is in charge of the city). She does so, and the dress catches the attention of a former Creature Court King, Ashiol, who was exiled by the current Power & Majesty -who was also his best friend. He has also gone mad. From here, Velody and Ashiol are thrown back into the pit of the creature court, where Velody must learn to come to terms with her new life as a powerful King and tame the hearts of all the wild animals who would rather see her dead than ruling them.
Like I said, I didn't mind this novel. It was original, well thought out and really made me think to work out what was going to happen next, which is something you want in a fantasy novel. It did however, strike a few chords with me regarding time lines - for the first 15 or so chapters I was completely confused. It constantly jumps from the past to the present, with all different characters and most of it is unnecessary.
Also, nothing was explained about the battle with the sky, I have finished the book and I still have no idea why the hell the sky shoots lightening bolts and can burn cities to the ground, or erase the memories of everyone who ever had ties to that city.
In saying all that.... the book as edgy, mysterious and exotic. It was quite dark in certain places, and definitely a novel for adults ( sex, drugs and rape are issues here)...
I will read the following two books to make the trilogy - and I really hope that author decides to expand on certain topics.