As usual, I get hung up on the “baddies” in a story. In Song of The Ice Lord, the Ice Lord is our baddie, most likely a spirit/god/demon of destruction and hunger. Not hunger for food, but hunger for everything. The Ice Lord seems to be driven by a desire or need to devour all it touches. Once a place has come into contact with the Ice Lord, it is completely destroyed by it/him/her and its armies. The Ice Lord’s method of gathering armies is through fear, the fear of being devoured. Thinking about the Ice Lord made me think about humanity’s hunger and destructiveness. We are good at that. Sadly, too good. Perhaps we will be lucky and find ourselves a Lodden and Maran to save us from ourselves.
War is one of the many mysteries I struggle to understand. I do realize that humans are incredibly territorial. As a breed, we seem to want to expand our own lands and ideas of right and wrong, even if that means killing other humans. The Skral, Sharan and Gai Ren are no exception to this. What started out as one people developed into competing tribes and nations. At regular intervals they would attack their neighboring countries, city-states or tribal competitors. When the Ice Lord arrives on the scene a few people from each nationality escapes and they are taken to the islands of the Skral. These, usually competing, people band together in an attempt to dethrone the Ice Lord without destroying every last remnant of themselves and their cultures. Changing alliances. What a bizarre phenomenon and terribly confusing to my asperger brain. One of my thoughts on reading this was the same as the thought whenever I hear of this happening in the real world: “How long will it take before they are killing each other again?” Historically speaking, not very long at all.
Song of the Ice Lord is in many ways a terrifying story. Horror it ain’t, not in any kind of manner. But its way of nailing the future of nations (historical and current) makes me want to shout: “can’t we just be friends, please, and stop all of this destruction”. A girl can dream.
The flow of words was very different to the other stories in this series. Most of that probably has to do with the insertion of the three short stories, all three important in the context of the over-all story.
The Black-Eyed Susan tells the story of a captain we heard about in the two first novels of On Dark Shores. The Lady and The Other Nereia both mention a captain that was tricked by Mr. Copeland and later killed by his bodyguard Blakey as a consequence of forfeiting his loan.
We get a look into the workings of Mr. Copeland’s mind. His mind is not a pretty place to be. We also get a closer look at Blakey’s character and a deeper understanding of the choices that have been made.
The Black-Eyed Susan is only a few pages long, but those are incredibly enjoyable pages.
I enjoyed The Other Nereia as much as I enjoyed The Lady. Clement kept her minor-tone throughout the novel. Flowing authors make my reading experience about as enjoyable as sinking under water. There is just something about feeling the water close over my head that makes my head so happy it wants to stay there forever. See what you did to me Ms. Clement.
In trying to run away Nereia woke a feeling of community in Scarlock that had been missing for quite a while. Mr. Copeland senses this and it stirs his paranoia and insanity even more. Poor Blakey (yes, I feel sorry for him and his mom) is left trying to make things less awful for the population. Poor Nereia is left with very few choices in what to do. Novel two is a terribly wonderful novel.
Having read as many books as I have, I still find myself caring for the characters and being able to dive into worlds created in another person’s mind. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.
First of all, I want to congratulate J.A. Clement on her choice of cover artist. Fena Lee captures the spirit of The Lady perfectly in the mood of her cover creation.
I loved The Lady. There, that really should be all you needed to hear, shouldn’t it. After all, my taste in books is superb and anything I like others must too. Or not.
Let me list the reasons why:
J.A. Clement flows. The Lady is a minor-toned novel (musically speaking) – exactly like the cover.
J.A. Clement’s characters grow on you, even Mr. Copeland. He is a sociopath. I know of no other words to describe him. Well, I do, but sociopath is the most descriptive one. His bodyguard has a reputation of breaking bones and possibly even killing people for Mr. Copeland.
The Lady is the Mother of the Shantari. She has made an awful choice (as in for herself) and is feeling a lot of pain.
Our main character is Nereia, another person having to make choices that will demand a high price. But sometimes you don’t really have a choice in life. You just do your best and hope the tides of fate will turn.
I have one complaint about The Lady. It was toooooooooo short.
A warning. This is a serial. You all know that means that you are left with a cliff-hanger. Fortunately book no. 2 in the serial is out along with a short-story giving some background information on one of the characters.