Wednesday, March 21, 2012

REVIEW: Treason Keep by Jennifer Fallon

Firstly, can I just point out how incredibly bad these covers are ... I know there is another edition which has a much better cover, but these are the ones I have and they're terrible. It's so ... nondescript.

I mentioned previously that it's been years since I read book one of The Demon Child trilogy, Medalon, and so some details were a little sketchy. There were some large points concerning the histories of R'Shiel and the Harshini which eluded me, but I made do. The Harshini make a cameo appearance at best anyway.

Overall I am really enjoying this series although it does have a touch of 'Jemisinitis' (a term I have recently coined that refers to when fantasy authors make a whole bunch of stuff up as they go along that makes you want to narrow your eyes in suspicion). The roles of the Harshini, the demons and the demon child was not very well thought out and is only explained in passing (to avoid pointing out the pot holes no doubt) ... I still can't figure out why they need R'Shiel if Brak is also half-Harshini half-human, although I'm sure it was explained previously ... at least I hope.

I have to admit that R'Shiel is the most annoying and underwhelming protagonist I have come across. I wish she would just go away and let the story continue with other more interesting characters. I was very thankful she actually only had a minor role in this book, although that in itself was a little strange because the whole series is actually meant to be about her and her 'destiny'. I think this is where the series lost it's way ... it had some other great characters, relationships and political goings-on which was subsequently attacked in a dark alley by what was meant to be the primary storyline. The whole, let's kill Xaphista thing really became an afterthought in this one.

Ignoring that however, there were some great things about Treason Keep. Adrina was an incredibly welcome addition to the series and I found her character to be fresh, humourous and entertaining. Bringing all four countries and their royalty into the picture also made the medieval style politics all the more interesting. 

Fallon's prose is easy to read and there is never a point that it can be accused of dragging. While I wouldn't call it 'fast paced', she spares us of lengthy 'travel scenes' which we can all be thankful for.

All in all an interesting story and a good read, but nothing incredibly original that we haven't heard before. Next up, Harshini!

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