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Emissary - Fiona McIntosh - Bogormen
So many books, so little time.
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Emissary - Fiona McIntosh
Title: Emissary
Author: Fiona McIntosh
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 512
Date read: October, 2009

Without Lazar's guiding hand and presence, the Stone Palace of Percheron has become a different place. Young Zar Boaz, mistrusting of his mother, Herezah, but too inexperienced to stand on his own, seeks counsel from the suddenly changed and secretive Vizier, who has a sinister agenda of his own.

As Herezah privately grieves for Lazar, she hatches an audacious plot to destroy the odalisque Ana, who flouts the rules of the harem but has found a measure of protection in having caught the eye of Zar Boaz. And Ana shoulders a tremendous burden of guilt as she matures from a beautiful girl into a stunning young woman... and fears what her future in the harem might hold.

Yet Lazar, unbeknownst to nearly everyone in the palace, is slowly recovering on a secret island. As he struggles to return to health, war from a distant realm threatens Percheron, and, as the cyclical battle of the gods continues to build, the first of the Goddess's disciples falls into the grip of the demon Maliz.

Fiona McIntosh has a really bad habit of ending with a cliff-hanger, which gets rather tedious once you realise that all her books are like that. It's a shame too, because if it hadn't been for that, I would probably have rated this book higher than I did. The writing has improved from the first book in the series, and the characters are becoming much more complex. I enjoy Ana's no-nonsense way of handling Herezah, and found myself almost liking Maliz, now that he's abandoned all of Tariq's most annoying traits.

Fiona McIntosh isn't afraid of killing off her characters, but there was one death in this book that seemed completely pointless. I hope this will prove to be an "interesting assumption" and that the reasons will become apparent in the next book in the series. If not, then it was just plain cruel.

I still by far prefer the Valisar trilogy, but I will be keeping my eye out for the next (and perhaps last? I can't seem to get any certain answer) book in the Pecheron saga.

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