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Gaston de Foix

Song of Shattered Sands (A Veil of Spears SPOILERS)

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I just finished A Veil of Spears.  Curious whether others on this forum have read the series and whether they have thoughts.  I picked up the first novel at the recommendation of GRRM on his Not A Blog. 

My initial impression of the series has been positive and enjoyable with a few caveats.  If you are interested in non-Western fantasies, this is one of the best around.  And if you like your politics vicious and your world building detailed, this qualifies as well.  The author is producing books regularly, and deserves a wider audience. 

That said, I found it incredibly difficult to remember the 12 Kings and their unique attributes in the first couple of books.  An appendix would have been nice.  Similarly, a summary of the events of previous books (whether online or elsewhere) would be handy.  

The most recent book had some strengths: great world building and the gradual introduction of the Gods and the broader world outside Sharakhai.  It also had some welcome reunions and important plot developments. 

The biggest weakness was the plot armour that the lead character is endowed with.  There was a major twist at the end about which I was also somewhat iffy.  But all in all a strong third book.   

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I've only read the first two books but enjoyed both of them. I've got the third downloaded and waiting in my to-read queue.

Regarding your points, I agree that some of the King's aren't very well fleshed out, but imo they seem to be fleshed out and developed a bit more as and when necessary. As of the end of book two I feel familiar enough with all of them except perhaps Besir and Mesut. Oh and Our, though I always know who the others mean when they reference him. Seems like there is more focus on each when they become relevant to the plot of each book.

I agree that Ceda seems to have a lot of plot armour but I can more or less overlook that, though it does seem too much at times. The convenience of the adichara petals as stimulants also bothers me at times (like after she's been tortured and had a freaking awl driven into her leg bone yet is able to kill Yndris and hot foot it back to the House of Maidens...I know it's fantasy but...)

I enjoyed the brief glimpse of Qaimir at the beginning of this novel and look forward to seeing more of the world in future books.

I do hope this doesn't spread itself too thin into a 12 book series (i.e. one king one book). Its entertaining but I don't think the premise will carry that long. I also don't think the 'flashback' structure will work that long

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Husamettin being Ceda's pappy makes sense, though the first book gives her somewhat affectionate bonds with several kings to throw you off.

I had hoped that Cahill had died in book 2, but alas. Same for Yndris. In the end Kiral really didnt make that much of an impression.

I really like the Ceda chapters, im fine with Ramahd, but I don't really care for Emre and Davud puts me to sleep.

That beach scene with Sumeya in the second book...well im happy they didnt take their passion too far, that would have not been fun down the line.

so far I rank the books Blood > Kings > Veil, though I still like each one and I consider them worth the time and money.

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Finished book three recently, overall very good. My main criticism is that he tries to balance too many POVs at one time which results in some questionable pacing. Most notable is where the shaikh charges at Onur, the chapter ends, cuts away for a few chapters, and we resume Emre’s POV much later at exactly the same moment. Could be structured better.

Davud is likely to come back into play later, but mostly he seem almost irrelevant in this book. I guess the ‘who told him to kill Ceda’ will be a dangling thread for some time though.

Nice that he.  didn’t string out who Ceda’s father was unti the grand finale though

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Hah, who says that the honey tongued king cannot lie?

 

Regarding plot armour, I feel that it's on purpose, she is destined to survive, there is literal divine strength behind this. I mean, Melis got the prophecy that she would serve a queen, for example. It's all preordained, it's not about if she will survive but how and what she will become.

I bet she ascend to a Tauriyat throne and kills some gods before this ends.

Anyway, the scope expands with each book, and the coming all out war with neighbouring countries feels interesting.

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23 minutes ago, Errant Bard said:

Hah, who says that the honey tongued king cannot lie?

 

Regarding plot armour, I feel that it's on purpose, she is destined to survive, there is literal divine strength behind this. I mean, Melis got the prophecy that she would serve a queen, for example. It's all preordained, it's not about if she will survive but how and what she will become.

I bet she ascend to a Tauriyat throne and kills some gods before this ends.

Anyway, the scope expands with each book, and the coming all out war with neighbouring countries feels interesting.

I'm also interested in the expansion into the new countries and hope we actually get to see them too, like we got a glimpse of Qaimir. (Speaking of, I find the Ramahd and Meryam stuff brilliant and love the blood magic and the gradual unveiling of Meryam's deeper, long term plotting).

Like I mentioned before, I don't mind the plot armour most of the time. And I don't think anything this book bothered me on that front. The elixir was a bit out of the blue but then it would have been a shock really had nobody in the Host taken one for their own use.

The increasing interference of the Gods is very interesting. I like how the story is becoming more magical/fantastical as the series progresses

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I just finished the first book and enjoyed it.  I see it it's to expand to six books, not sure about reading that many, but we'll see.  I felt this author does show some influence from GRRM and enjoyed the line I found later in the book when Ceda and Emre were talking  "When he spoke again, his tone was as distant as the winds of winter." 

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12 hours ago, LongRider said:

I just finished the first book and enjoyed it.  I see it it's to expand to six books, not sure about reading that many, but we'll see. 

One thing to say about this: at the end of twelve kings in sharakai, one could get the idea that everything is set and the series is on rails for monster of the week type installments (only, it'd be more like king of the year, or something) ... it's not so. The story grows out of this, and in a way, the characters do so too.

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