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I am extremely busy on the farm right now, peeps (you can find what I'm doing through FB page Olives and Acorns) and wilting in the terrible heat. As a consequence, my reading schedule suffered and while reviews will continue trickling in, normal schedule won't resume until September. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Fantasy Review: The Bandit King by Lilith Saintcrow

The Bandit King by Lilith Saintcrow (Romances of Arquitaine #2)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Tristan d'Arcenne is what he always wished to be--Vianne di Rocancheil's Consort. But Vianne is no more a noblewoman, she is the Queen of Arquitaine, faced with treachery, invasion, war, and a Consort whose secrets may well shatter their marriage. For before Tristan was hers, he belonged to a King...and that King died by Tristan's hand.

Arquitaine needs them both. The country is locked in a deadly game whose rules change by the moment. The Queen is an adept player, but hardly ruthless enough. The contest requires a man who has nothing to lose, a man who has already done the worst and will continue to do so for his wife, his country, and his own salvation.

The Bandit King approaches...

  Amazon kindle US($4.99)/UK(£2.99)


* * *
 I really loved The Hedgewitch Queen, book #1 in this series. A bit like Maria V. Snyder's writing it was just charming and fast-paced enough to have your undivided attention till the very end of the book.

However, The Bandit King is written from Tristan's point of view, so there is no Vianne's input only his descriptions of her actions which makes the book pretty dry and emotionally exhausting. He goes through some really deep, painful feelings, gets his heart broken and all his hopes crushed.

Tristan loves Vianne to the point of obsession, he'll die for her, starves for her attention and will kill in her name without any hesitation. There is nothing else for him apart from her. He has loved her from afar for years before conquering her heart, so when she finds out that he is the one who killed the old King, - for her it's a huge betrayal, oath breaking and treason. She doesn't know him anymore, she tries to distance herself and re-evaluate her feelings. 

However, she can not afford it. The gods approved of their marriage, the country is at war and the Seal she owns works at its full strength only with Tristan nearby. So this coldness, distrust between them leads to despair from Tris's side and an urgent need to redeem himself in Vianne's eyes.

The one thing that makes an otherwise awkward book a very interesting read  is battle sequences and one epic duel. Oh my God, one thing you can't take away from Lily, - she knows her war stuff well. I loved it!

Overall, not Lily's best book, it reads tortuously slow, and I almost gave up on Tris few times, but there are few epic moments in it and the ending is pretty decent.

* * *
 Неудачная вышла у Лили вторая книга серии. События описываются со слов Тристана - консорта Вианн де Рокансэйль, нет никакого намёка на её точку зрения или мысли - а поэтому всё уныло, однобоко и читается как эмоциональная пытка, ей богу!

В конце первой книги, Вианн узнаёт что Тристан убил предыдущего короля ради неё, и поэтому чувствует себя преданной и начинает бояться Триса и теряет своё доверие к нему.

Сам Трис просто превращается в мальчика эмо: сплошные страдания, попытки положить жизнь за королеву и даже рыдания. Глубина любви и одержимости Триса Вианн поражает - он любил её на протяжении многих лет пока был ассассинром короля, и когда наконец решился попросить у него её руки, король уведомил его, что рука Вианн уйдёт к какому-то иностранцу, чтобы упрочить отношения с Аркитанией... Это его как-раз и сломило.

Трис обратился к заговорщикам, чтобы помочь тем убить соверена и увезти Вианн подальше от Двора. Всё это сообщается нам через его воспоминания и на фоне различных политических интриг и войны с заговорщиками.

Сама Вианн не может отдалиться от Триса по-настоящему. Её Печать и боги признали того как консорта, и только в его присутствии Печать работает в полную силу.

Единственное, что искупает эту неловкую книгу - это описание сражений и одной совершенно эпичной дуэли. Уж что-то, а войну Лили писать умеет. 

В общем, читать можно, но нужно ли? 
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