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The Riven KingdomS is a toymaker To protect Princess Rhian and his country he must place his trust in an exile from Mijak Yet as Ethrea comes ever closer to civil war a great. For a while now I’ve been ruminating on the role of the medieval setting in fantasy and specifically the kingdom Monarchies are largely obsolete these days though Charles Stross has some interesting ideas about how the divine right of kings could intersect with extreme libertarianism It’s interesting then this obsession we have with a form of government that is inherently unstable unfair and usually just crap I mean yes it makes for good conflict and conflict is the heart of good storytelling Yet I can’t help but feel it’s somewhat ironic that we sit here cheering for an heir to take back her kingdom instead of hoping for a rebellion to take the monarchy downThe Riven Kingdom has provoked another round of rumination for preserving the continuity of the crown is central to the plot Indeed it’s practically the entire story Rhian’s father King Eberg dies With her older brothers predeceasing him Rhian is the sole heir—but a woman has never ruled as ueen in her own right and Rhian is also a minor So the grasping high church official Prolate Marlan schemes to marry her to a simpleton and rule through this new king Rhian has other plans Aided by Dexterity Jones a toymaker with an unlikely name and the unlikely help of a messenger from God Rhian escapes Marlan’s clutches marries her childhood love and attempts to claim the crownA Song of Ice and Fire this is not there is little in the way of ambiguity here when it comes to good guys and bad guys Whereas it’s not entirely clear who should win the Iron Throne go Team Daenerys woo Karen Miller makes it plan that Rhian is the only person for the job and that Marlan is bad bad bad In fact he’s so stereotypically evil beyond redemption that it’s almost embarrassing Fortunately the rest of the book is steeped in enough moral exploration to make up for this faultRhian begins the story as an intelligent but still emotionally immature woman Understandably upset by her father’s lingering death she snaps at those close to her This tendency to snap doesn’t actually go away unfortunately and I found myself frustrated by how she would seem to yell and stamp any time someone so much as raises an alternative perspective But I don’t mean to imply that she is the picture of the spoiled princess far from it; Rhian is a capable successor to her father who merely lacks the experience that age often brings It’s watching her acuire experience and confidence in herself as a ruler during her trials on the road that make this book so enjoyable Rhian learns from those in her company and gradually begins to construct her own personal code for what it means to be the ueenA similar change comes over Dexterity who gets the ball rolling when he persuades Rhian to run away from the capital and declare herself ueen openly His motivation is supernatural coming to him in the form of his dead wife Hettie At first Dexterity is a bit of a Fool humorous carefree and irreverent he’s happy to trade uips and roll his eyes beyond someone’s back Gradually he becomes serious focused as the significance of his role in these events becomes apparent And of course he has to adjust to being a prophet who can heal people through miracles Because being on fire but not consumed by it is totally not weird at allPerhaps the character who surprised me most was Helfred Rhian’s personal chaplain He begins as a stock thorn in Rhian’s side a creature of Marlan who is his uncle He whines and sniffles in that unctuous way of unsavoury priests in fiction Yet he stands up to Rhian falls in with her and ends up taking great risks Unlike his uncle he shows himself to be a genuine man of faith And of all the characters he is probably the one who changes the most dramatically If there’s anyone who demonstrates Miller’s careful attention to character development it’s HelfredUnless it’s Zandakar of courseThis is the second book in the Godspeaker trilogy I read the first book recently enough that my memory of it is still uite clear I was intrigued but not captivated by it It was just uite different which can be good but also unsettling The Riven Kingdom is much conventional in narration and dialogue I wonder what it would be like to read this book first and then tackle Empress for the latter doesn’t really encourage one to continue reading the series Of course this approach comes at the cost of not realizing Zandakar’s significance or the backstory within the Mijak interludes of the bookZandakar is no longer the proud warrior he was in Empress Beaten and broken sold into slavery he is rescued by Dexterity and nursed back to health He feels guilty for his role in killing and enslaving literally countries’ worth of people And this is a secret he can’t share except with Dexterity I like how Miller realistically portrays the slow awkward development of communication between Zandakar and Dexterity There’s no magical translation spell no convenient crutch that allows one to speak the other’s language through anything other than patience and practice As Zandakar becomes fluent in Ethrean we are treated to of his viewpoint and get to see how much he has changed since the events of the first bookZandakar exists as a foil for Rhian the gentle ueen He teaches her his hotas the exercises that help hone his focus and skills as a warrior at her reuest She develops the ability to kill by instinct demonstrating this starkly at a pivotal moment in the book Rhian realizes that she cannot and will not shed blood of her own accord Zandakar accuses her of not wanting or willing to be ueen For him ruling and killing go hand in hand Rhian rejects this emphatically thereby establishing one of the pillars of her personal code of ruling But she wouldn’t have done this without Zandakar’s guidance and trainingMoreover Zandakar is a symbol for what awaits Ethrea when the Mijak warhost arrives Beyond the immediate story of Rhian’s accession lies the impending arrival of the horde that is pouring out of Mijak I assume this will come to a head in the third book Those closest to Zandakar those like Rhian who have seen him kill to defend them understand how terrifying he is Now multiply that by the thousands it beggars belief Ethrea is not in for good timesThe Riven Kingdom is definitely a cut above Empress If you managed to get through the first book but like me were hesitant to carry on I’d say you should give it a try And even if you gave Empress a pass it might be worth giving this book shot As far as fantasy books go there is very little in the way of new ideas here As I remarked earlier it is essentially the basic inheritance conflict plot But it’s competently executed with characters who undergo some subtle change and development along the way Sometimes that’s sufficient for an enjoyable little bookMy reviews of the Godspeaker trilogy← Empress | Hammer of God →

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The King of Ethrea is dying His only surviving heir is the Princess Rhian But if her enemies have their way Ethrea will not be ruled by a womanDexterity Jone. It's in this second book that I finally understand what Miller was trying to achieve but I'm still not convinced of her successThe good The repetition and gore of the eastern 'Empress of Mijak' has been replaced by a polished western european esue nation much in the line of standard fantasy Miller is obviously comfortable with this kind of setting as the unneccessary repetitive shoving of religious detail has been kept to a minimum allowing us to concentrate on what's happening The characters are also a lot likeable and there's a better plot arcThe bad The plot arc still sucks The time I went oh the uest is beginning I was already halfway through the book Miller wastes half the book on setup and after reading four of her books I think it's one of her biggest weaknesses She just doesn't seem to know how to prioritise what needs to be conveyed first and so writes everything down screwing up the flow and pace of the book and boring the reader I can't help but wonder whether the huge drop in reviewers from 'Empress' to 'Riven Kingdom' is because so many people have been turned off by the first book in the trilogyThematically there was that was loosely outlined but it was still out shadowed by boring detail I'm not even sure I like the end it's as if Miller finally realised she was running out of pages and was all oops better wrap this upBut most of all now that I understand the relationship between book 1 and book 2 I am at a complete loss to understand why Miller spent an entire 565 pages on Mijak Either everything will become clear in book three bad plot seeding or she's just the ueen of overwriting because there's so little correlation between the past events in Mijak and what happens in Riven Kingdom that it's not funny Seriously most other authors would have summarised the events in a one chapter prologue at the beginning of where 'The Riven Kingdom' begins why is it called the Rivan Kingdom There's not even a mention of Riva or Riven in this book In fact I'd have summarised the Empress of Mijak into a prologue and then started 'The Riven Kingdom' about one third of the way into the book just a few chapter's worth of pages before the real 'journey' part beginsThis book is better than Empress of Mijak but it's still one of the worst cases of overwriting I've ever seen in my life So much of books 1 and 2 should have been mercifully culled from the final draft and left to stay in author's chaarcterreference notes where they belong

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The Riven Kingdom free read ê PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Â The King of Ethrea is dying His only surviving heir is the Princess Rhian But if her enemies have their way Ethrea will not be ruled by a womanDexterity Jones is a toymaker To protect Princess Rhian and his country he must place his trust in an exile from Mijak Yet as Er danger awaits Across the sea an Empress has already slaughtered millions in the name of her god And the war will not end until the world kneels before her. Wow just wow A total different story than the first one but good as well Can't wait to see what book 3 have in wait Unexpected ending