The Riven Shield, by Michelle West

evakristin's review

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challenging reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


 The first book in this series blew me away, I was deeply fascinated by the world West created, particularly the pseudo-Asian society of the Dominion and the enigmatic character of Serra Diora De'Marano. The rest of the series has been so-so, mostly because I don't like Jewel at all, and find everything concerning her and her "den" overwhelmingly boring and to a large degree irrelevant to the story. I don't care who ends up ruling Terafin, I really don't.

Luckily this book concerns itself almost exclusively with the goings on in the South, and is by far my favourite excepting the first one. As a rule I often find West unnecessarily long winded and her language excessively poetic, but she also manages to create scenes that will stay with me for a long time. SPOILER Like the kai Clemente kneeling in moonshine in front of the altar of the Lady, crying over his sons severed head. Heartbreaking.

I'm looking forward to finally reading the conclusion of this saga. I just wish West would get over her abhorrence of definite article and the possessive pronouns. And the lifting of brows. Jeeze.