A fitting finish to the trilogy, and a far more enjoyable read than the prior two books in the series. This one really showed character development, maturing the characters into what I grew to know and love in the Kris Longknife series.
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This novella was much better than his other one in this series. While I would have loved to have seen more of the primary character of this series, the look behind the scenes at the people who move her around on the chessboard was very interesting. Rather than feeling like a minor writing exercise by the author to appease the fans between books this one felt like he actually put some effort and work into it, and I appreciate that extra work. Rather than simply being filler that provides a little bit of back story, this one actually adds real value to the series, and I have never been happier with a purchase. This novella is a worthy addition to the series, and a welcome piece in my library.
I am quickly discovering that finding an original series that a later series is based upon leads to a strong sense of familiarity. I don’t know whether I actually read this book at some point in the past and simply never made the connection when I was reading the Kris Longknife series, or whether exposure to that series, which built off of this one led to my finding the story extremely familiar. Regardless, it was an enjoyable read, and further fleshed out characters that I had grown to know as background characters, giving them a life of their own, and explaining why they act as they do in the subsequent series which I read first.
The writing style itself is definitely not as polished as I am used to seeing from this author, and I have to keep reminding myself that this is the original series when he was first cutting his teeth on the writing process. Definitely a book to seek out if you have read the Kris Longknife series and want more from the author, though equally good on its own merit. Interestingly, while it is the middle book in a trilogy you don’t have to have read the first book to pick this one up and enjoy it. This isn’t always the case for books that are part of a series, so finding a book that can stand on its own is a refreshing change from what is starting to become the norm in modern publishing.
After reading my way through Mike’s Kris Longknife series I learned that he originally wrote this trilogy, and this trilogy formed the foundation of the other series. Hungry to read more of his work I decided to give it a shot, and I am quite happy that I did as I have really enjoyed this volume. So many times in the successor series references are made to events that unfolded in Ray Longknife’s time, and while no real details come out it is clear that they were important events that helped shape the future. Now I get a chance to see those events and learn some (many) of the details that are skirted past whenever the topic comes up on the Kris series. The hard part for me now is waiting to see if my local library can obtain a copy of the second book in the trilogy via Interlibrary Loan as they do not have a copy in their own inventory.