And so I pushed through the second book in this trilogy. I am still less than impressed, but because my expectations were so low, this one wasn’t quite as bad as the first. Which means this is proves the theory that lowered expectations make things better. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s still terrible it just didn’t disappoint me in addition to being terrible so… yea… For the record, I skimmed a lot, a LOT, of this book.
So what’s the plot? Well, Lira’s evil accomplices, one of whom is a glass magician and not a flesh magician, approach Ceony because she is the one who defeated Lira. They would like her to reverse the spell she put on Lira. In addition, in order to get her attention, and twirl their evil mustaches, the blow up a paper factory which she is touring. You know, like bad guys. Oh and threaten her family, and Magician Thane.
There’s also the romantic subplot, which I did my absolute best to completely ignore, because I don’t care how much Ceony thinks she loves Emory HE IS HER TEACHER and that’s gross. In fact there’s a confrontation between Ceony and one of the head magicians about the feelings developing between Ceony and her teacher and I know I’m supposed to think that magician (look I can’t remember the names ok?) is sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong because TWU WUV, but no. I am 100% on the side of the person going, THIS IS WRONG AND BAD AND YOU SHOULDN’T BE DOING THIS.
And there’s a super offensive point made about how Lira, the evil villainess in the last book, was maybe not so bad to start but corrupted one of the male villains in this book. I…. am super not pleased. It completely removes her agency as a villain. It’s also done in order to make it OK that Magician Thane (Ceony’s TWU WUF) was originally in love with this woman – because of course he could never have loved someone who was evil. Honestly, what’s really bothering me here is the lack of complication; people in this book are EVIL or GOOD and actually complicated people.
Finally, it is just not written very well. There are a lot of lazy little details, put in to add character and detail but they don’t actually fit. For example, in the first 3% of the novel Ceony celebrates her birthday with her family. They bring out the cake and she blows out the candle, and then someone turns on the light. Except the lightbulb (because they’re super poor) isn’t a good one and so it explodes OVER THE TABLE (I read this THREE times to make sure I read it correctly) and they go on to cut and eat the cake like GLASS DIDN’T JUST SHATTER OVER THE GODDAMN FOOD. There are a couple of other instances like that in the book, small moments that don’t really add much to the plot but annoy me because there’s no attention to detail on the part of the author. Like not knowing French to the point where you can’t figure out sud-est but knowing ‘see-voo-plait’ (spelling approximated from book) is please. My inner linguist went on a 30 minute rant after that part guys, I’m gonna spare you but know it bugged the crap out of me.
I’m super looking forward to the third. I know it’s gonna be bad, but I kind of enjoy the ranting.