In the previous Goldstone Series books we hear bits and pieces of the Dragonwitch’s story; in this novel we are told the whole story, but also much more. While those who have read the rest of Anne’s works know most of the Dragonwitch’s story (both past and future), in this novel her past is revealed in a little more detail and, in particular, deals with her final death.
One thing I notice in series these days is that often the writing style becomes predictable. However, I was pleased to find each of Anne’s novels unique in tone and character development; it probably helps that her characters (in each book) are worlds and ages apart. In this particular novel the author reveals secrets slowly, the reader can guess at where the story might go, but doesn’t have confirmation of the facts right away. Often scenes will cut to different scenarios and leave the reader with a sense of anticipation.
And I love the characters! Some are already well-known and I was glad to find their tone and actions the same as previous books. There are several characters in this book. In fact, it is hard to pinpoint who would be the “main” character. Each of the characters, with their ways of thinking, fears and hopes, is well-developed and unique. There is Alistair–courageous and yet full of fearsome dreams; Mouse–who follows her own way and finds it disappointing; the Chronicler–the unexpected (especially to himself) “hero”, Leta–a woman who is both practical and daring; and the Dragonwitch–who, once you have heard her story, you almost want to feel sorry for her, but one is always responsible for their actions regardless of what they have gone through. And there is even romance–the tension, at times is palatable! There is so much more I could say, but I wouldn’t want to give anything away…
An entertaining and entrancing read, this is easily another favourite–I can hardly wait for the next novel to come out in 2014!