Jan. 26th, 2010

ice_of_dreams: (nabiki)
In an alternate universe where magic is part of daily lives, Nigel Oldhall is tasked to Africa by Queen Victoria to find a jewel that could seal all the magic in the world to the British Empire.

The first book was very frustrating for me, imagine four people continuously misunderstanding each other about what the other feels, about what they think and what they were doing. I thought Emily was too quick to judge that she had too little faith in stock with a person who had tried to do everything for her. But other than that I liked the plot, and I liked the ending (if they had taken Emily completely out of the script, I would have been fine with it too. I thought she was too shallow and too dependent.) As for Nigel, he was a character that built on himself, he found himself in the first book and proceeded to do what he must. It was a good story amidst the myestery of a missing brother and a secret organization out to rule the world.

Peter, which was more of a star of the second book than the first was obviously a dragon even from the start of the series, it was a wonder that Emily didn't guess it right off the bat. In the second book, Peter, who was not doing anything much to find the jewel stumbles upon its unwitting owner. And unlike Emily, I liked Sofie. Emily was completely hopeless on her own while Sofie tried to fight circumstances, think for herself and take her own destiny. Sofie and Peter's adventure in India amidst a were-revolution and political intrigue.

The final book was a treasure because of the were-dragons and because of the Chinese cultures, in the other books, though they were set in Africa and India respectively, they were still more-or-less British because we were following these very British people trudging across respective English occupied countries, with some annotation that ahhh, we are abroad. In the third book, there was more Chinese folklore. We see a rich new culture, about the Chinese belief system, their afterlife, and what it might have been had there been magic amidst China at that time, when their emperor was deposed. More than that, we were also following not just Nigel Oldhall, but Lady Jade and The Third Wife of the Emperor.

The only disappointment had been the ending, probably because I thought the avatar was too ... wishy washy and too "You have found your soul mate" (and who takes broad generalizations like that in stride?) All in all a good series, but not something I'd re-read.

November 2010

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