Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dark Haven

I am a cad.

A while back I got an email by the most excellent Gail Z. Martin, asking me if I wanted to review her newest novel, Dark Haven, part three of the Chronicles of the Necromancer. She'd send me one, for free.

Clearly, Gail knows the way to my heart: Novel. Free. Aaand, you're in!

I got the novel by the end of March. So why did it take me more than a month to review it? Because I am a cad, that's why.

I didn't even notice at first that she even signed it for me:

 How awesome is that?

Anyway, onward to the review (read my review of The Summoner here):

We rejoin Martris Drayke and his friends, who finally put paid to Martris evil brother Jared and the Obsidian King in the novel The Blood King. The first two novels of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series are a self-contained story by the way. Dark Haven isn't, but fortunately Dark Lady's Chosen will be out by 2010.

But all is not well in Margolan. The country has been devasted by the war against Jared (and by Jared himself before that). Martris is all set to wed Princess Kiara of Isencroft, but Isencroft nationalists are very much against that, since this would eventually unite Margolan and Isencroft under the rule of Martris and Kiara. A good way to prevent that would be assasination...
While Martris has to deal with an insurrection of a southern lord, his companion Jonmarc has been made Lord of Dark Haven, the vampire stronghold. And not all vampires are happy with having a mortal lord...

So, what did I think about Dark Haven? First, the bad: Martris is still called Tris, and I still don't like the name ;)

Then, the good: Martin's writing keeps getting better. The characters have more depth to them, and I really liked the way all is not well in Margolan, even if the evil ursurper is gone. People are poor, starving, looking for scapegoats and generally miserable. The subplot with the vampires was very interesting - the moderate vampires that recognise that having a human lord will allay the suspicions  and predjudices of mortals, thus preventing another war, the hotheads (uh, figuratively. vampire=cold) that don't see why a mere mortal should hold power over them, the pragmatists who see that mortals are just better in caring about things like fields and crops... add to that all the vampire trouble is really the hero's fault, because they used vampires as shock-troops against Jared in the previous novels and so gave a taste of what it is like to hunt humans again to the more radical vampire elements - very nice.

So, Dark Haven gets a warm recommendation from me. Read it, it's fun. Also, go to Gail's website, where there's excerpts and maps and stuff.

And, Gail, thank you so much again for sending me Dark Haven for review!

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