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A Reader of Fictions: Kingdom of the Animals - Iron & Wine

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kingdom of the Animals - Iron & Wine

Wolf Captured
Firekeeper Saga, Book 4

Author: Jane Lindskold
Pages: 709
Publisher: Tor

Brief Summary:
Firekeeper, Blind Seer and Derian have been captured by mysterious people. They are being sailed to some country they have never heard of, where they do not know the language. In this land, the people worship animals, particularly those of what Firekeeper calls the Royal kind. Animals and people live in harmony, all subscribing to the same religion of the elements. Having heard of Firekeeper, they want to know if she can interface more clearly with the deities.

If you've read my reviews for the previous books in the series, you probably know that I've been really struggling with these books. While the ideas have been interesting, the execution has been too long and lacking in enough action or drama to keep the pages turning swiftly. The books are slow, rather unsatisfying reads. In some ways, this one was better and in others worse.

First, the better. I really liked the change in setting, although I found the kidnapping scenario a bit far-fetched, given that the two countries had barely even heard of one another. How does word of such a specific nature get there and yet the Liglimom have no idea about Hawk Haven generally. Absurd!

Still, I loved getting to learn more about the animals. The religion they practiced was, to my agnostic brain, ridiculous, but still quite interesting. I found this book going a bit faster than the others, since my childhood love of animals spurred me on.

Unfortunately, the weak points of the other books are still here. Even though this book has romance, it failed to satisfy. Most worryingly is the love between wolf and human, which is now specifically referenced as being of a romantic variety. Yeah, unless they can work something out that is so not okay. Plus, Lindskold decided to curtail the one successful romance of the novel with a Whedon-esque no one can be happy moment.

I missed some of the other characters and hope the momentum gathered in some of this book will continue. However, I fear that I will have to suffer through more about Queen Valora of the Isles.

Note: I made it 250 pages into the next book, Wolf Hunting, and finally gave up on this series. It is not for me.

"Just where heaven calls
The kingdom of the animals
Scratching our heads
Where the wolf would go to lay"

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