Wednesday, April 03, 2013


So I've read almost all of the Tortall books. All except for the Prequels For whatever reason I'm just not a fan of going back and reading things about the past of the story world, so Beka Cooper will remain a mystery to me.

The most frustrating of the sequences has to be Trickster's daughter. On the one hand I really like Aly as a character, with a particular unique set of skills and abilities. On the other the stories just did not reach what they should have been.

For a start the trickster god was just too in your face. After book after book of the straightforward Gods acting with subtlety and stealth we have a trickster who just can't stop showing up in person to mess with everything. Worst yet he actually spoils Aly's chance to shine. Every time she needs to win someone over, The Trickster just shows up and does it for her. Really we should have had at least one conspirator that did not trust Aly at all ever, and continued to distrust her. And as for the God, it would have been much better if he had communicated via the Crows rather than in person.

Then again there is also the question of what this book is actually about. You'd think that a privileged girl finding herself a slave would have some adjustment issues, but no Aly just shrugs it off and gets on with things a little too easily.

Then we get to the second book and Aly who is now the Rebellion spymaster has no real adversary. Heck she is so good at remaining hidden that the opponents spymasters never even learn of her existence. The most disappointing moment being when she makes a dumb mistake and instead of things going wrong in the worst possible way, she just gets a lecture on how they could have gone wrong in the worst possible way. In trickster's Queen, over confidence should have been Aly's character flaw, and a flaw, and it wasn't.

Again the gods do all the important things, and Aly is left with the drudge work. How much better it would have been if Aly had come to the conclusion that the wrong sister was going to be put on the throne, and did something about it, rather then having a random god do the same. And then there was the final hurdle of reconciling two rebel groups with different goals, and our Hero is rendered unconscious for almost the entire incident. Not only does she play no part in it but we don't even get to see how this feat was achieved. And to think that given not one but two rebel groups there was not a single turncoat working for the powers that be, not a single enemy within that wanted to get rid of our hero, why not!

Really Aly needed an adversary, a rival spymaster that looked like he or she was as good or better then she was. We even had a candidate for the position, except that his goal was so narrow that he never actually did anything. How much more interesting if he had been part of the Lurian Mobility's plot to replace the regents.

And finally we have yet more romance that we are told about rather then being shown. Yes I persevered in reading but I was disappointed in Aly's easy ride form debutant to spymaster.