Die Assassine von Joshua Palmatier war definitiv kein Fehlgriff f r mich Inhalt Die junge Varis muss sich seit dem gewaltsamen Tod ihrer Mutter im Elendsviertel der Stadt Amenkor alleine durchschlagen Mithilfe ihrer Gabe, die ihr anzeigt wer f r sie gef hrlich ist und wer nicht, versucht sie zu berleben Eines Tages trifft sie auf Erick, einen Gardisten der Regentin von Amenkor, der ihr anbietet, ihm bei der Suche und Beseitigung von gef hrlichen Verbrechern zu helfen Doch in der Stadt und mit den Menschen von Amenkor geht etwas Schlimmes vor Etwas, das vor 6 Jahren begann, als ein wei es Feuer die Stadt und ihre Bewohner ver nderte Auch die Regentin, die Besch tzerin von Amenkor, die auf dem Geisterthron regiert, ist seit dem verheerenden Feuer langsam dem Wahnsinn verfallen und wird die Stadt mit sich zerst ren, wenn sie nicht jemand rechtzeitig aufh lt Meine Meinung Die Handlung fesselte mich schon zu Beginn und lie mich bis zum Schluss nicht los Ich hatte das Buch praktisch in einem halben Tag durch Glanzpunkt war ganz klar Varis Ihr berleben und all die Schrecken, die sie seit ihrer Kindheit durchgemacht hat, waren so realistisch und anschaulich geschildert, dass man einfach mit ihr mitf hlen musste Dabei wird klar wie sich Varis unter diesen Umst nden entwickelt hat und sich immer auf Distanz zu ihren Mitmenschen h lt Vertrauen schenkt sie nur wenigen und deshalb hat mir ihre Geschichte mit Erick, der eine Art Vaterfigur f r sie war, besonders gefallen Die Schilderung dieser besonderen Gabe, den Fluss , in dem Varis abtaucht um ihre Umwelt anders wahrzunehmen fand ich anfangs ein bisschen verwirrend, aber daran gew hnte ich mich im Laufe des Buches Das Ende und die Story mit der Regentin war ein wenig vorhersehbar, trotzdem gut ausgef hrt Die Spannung hielt bis zuletzt Einige Fragen blieben noch offen und unbeantwortet was genau ist der Geisterthron und was war dieses wei e Feuer , aber das wird hoffentlich in den n chsten beiden B chern behandelt Ich jedenfalls freue mich schon darauf.
F r den Auftakt einer Trilogie fand ich es erstklassig und vergebe 4 Sterne Update 09.
Mal Lesen ist es wenn m glich noch besser geworden Die Atmosph re des Buches hat mich wieder vollst ndig gepackt und zu wissen, was in den n chsten B chern kommt, macht es nur noch besser 5 Sterne f r eine meiner Lieblingsserien.
In Den Pal Sten Und Hallen Amenkors Herrscht Tr Gerischer Friede Doch In Den Gassen Der Unterstadt Leben Die Menschen In Bitterer Armut Als Obdachlose Waise Hat Varis Gelernt Zu K Mpfen Dabei Hilft Ihr Ihre Besondere Gabe Sie Kann Die Wahre Natur Der Menschen Sehen Eines Tages Tritt Ein Meister Assassine An Sie Heran Und Bietet Ihr Arbeit An Varis Soll F R Das Gute T Ten Doch Was Soll Sie Tun, Wenn Sie Erkennt, Dass Selbst In Den Guten Das B Se Wohnt This book embodies a trend I ve been seeing a lot of recently a book that has a nifty cool concept, but suffers in the execution and I m sorry to pick on this book in particular, but it s the one I ve tried to read most recently A lot of books published recently have the same problem the author doesn t seem to know where his story actually begins In this case, the book is about a girl with special powers who is trained as an assassin so that she can kill the current ruler who is insane and assume the throne herself.
That s a great beginning of a novel That s the setup It s not a whole novel, it s the first third at most I want to know what happens next, not spend 300 pages of training and dithering before getting to the cool stuff.
I wonder if the problem is not necessarily the writer, but the current publishing model for YA and fantasy in particular that is, We Must Have a Trilogy Well, what if a story doesn t contain a trilogy s worth of material Do you pad out the setup into the first book That s what seems to have happened here, and it happens a lot, and it drives me crazy It s not good writing, and it s not even a good marketing strategy, because it makes me disinclined to pick up the next books in the series If the author spent all this time on the setup of his story, does he even know how to write the good parts Again, I am sorry to pick on this book in particular it s definitely not the only one I ve read in recent memory with this exact same problem I could list dozens of others So, come on, authors Come on, publishers Something in the industry is broken let s try to fix it, please Under average fantasy in both style and story In a year in which I read so many interesting books, this was one of the worst.
An engaging if somewhat pedestrian read Reminded me a little of the Lies of Lock Lamora but less clever, much straightforward The plotline was predictable what, like the main character was ever not going to be the new Mistress but I really liked being in the main character s head Varis was gloriously pragmatic and sensible.
The madness of the Eryn Mistress was poorly explored for my taste I would have found the climax believable if she had first manipulated Varis into siting on the skewed throne and then committed suicide, sticking Varis with the ruling responsibility but I can understand Palmatier reinforcing his choice theme and having Eryn Mistress make Varis deliberately choose.
Recommendation Treat this book as a drinking game and take a shot every time there s a rape, a threat of rape, or a memory of rape Rape threat, memory did not happen to one named female character Of the unnamed characters who were not technically raped, the first was left wailing over the raped and murdered body of her young daughter, the second was implied and then murdered, the third was murdered and her body not inspected for other incidentals It s a mark in the books favor that I carried along reading it despite the rapey mcrapeness.
A gritty debut fantasy Varis is a young urchin,gutterscumby her own admission, a street smart thief who manages to survive on the margin by her own wits, resorting to violence when the circumstances are forced upon her Living from hand to mouth inThe Dredge , a shanty town and slum beyond the borders of Amenkor, her developing abilities for murder and thievery attract the attention of Erick, a royal guardsman and assassin who seeks out and kills any marks the ruling Mistress has judged must be eliminated Under Erick s tutelage her abilities are honed to a ruthless edge but Varis has another skill she has not disclosed to anyone an innate magic she callsThe River , a supernatural flow into which she can submerge herself InThe Rivershe sees evil in shades of red and innocence in shades of gray.
When Erick assigns her to kill a mark that Varis knows to be innocent, their ways part and Varis retreats back to the core of Amenkor proper Once again, her agility, her survival skills and her murderous ability with knives bring her under scrutiny Borund, a local merchant, hires her as a bodyguard and Varis finds herself embroiled in a conspiracy among the Amenkor merchants, an attempt to seize monopolistic control of trade at a time when the survival of the city itself seems in question The First Mistress seems to be losing her sanity and is issuing nonsensical orders The pitiless unfolding of events places Varis in the position of being the only one who can save Amenkor A fine plot line with much promise, to be sure And, in his debut outing, Palmatier has certainly crafted his story with enviable writing skills in the development of his characters, in the clever narration of exciting action sequences, and in the layout of easy flowing natural dialogue Varis own brief and lucid description of her young life seems brutal in its crystalline clarity but totally natural in its presentationI decided I d be better off on my own So I left I ran away, moved deeper into the slums beyond the Dredge I lived like an animal there, scrounging in garbage heaps, eating anything I could find, scraps you and Borund wouldn t even feed to a dog I was dying and I didn t even know it But I also felt that Palmatier was tip toeing across a knife edged ridge that far too narrow for my liking the difficult decision an author must make about how much to introduce, how much to disclose, how much to resolve and how much to leave for explanation and completion in future works Oh sure, there is obviously a sequel in the works But there are only two plot devices which move The Skewed Throne from normal medieval fiction into the realm of fantasy the magic ofThe RiverandThe White Fire , some sort of bizarre, powerful event that sweeps through Amenkor from time to time Even Varis owns up to having no idea about the meaning of The FireI felt its purpose Nothing to do with Amenkor, nothing to do with me It was residual energy, the remains of an event so powerful it had stretched across the ocean, burned across the sea from a distant land The consequence of a magic that no one in the throne knew the intent of, that was totally unfamiliar It was nothing to us Personally, I d need resolution in this introductory novel to move it to a higher rating as a stand alone novel But and this is a fervent hope , in the belief that all will come clear in future novels, I ll certainly move on to the second novel in the trilogy The Cracked Throne and recommend it to other fantasy lovers as well.
Paul Weiss This books should have been a book I could cheer The main character is a girl woman She grows up from 14 in the course of the book whose motivation isn t about a man, or men, or anything of the sort She s driven by survival, desire not to slide back to what she was, a much smothered and denied, but visible, wish to be loved or embraced by family, and conflicted pride in her own rather violent skills The city state in which it takes place is ruled by a woman, and always has been, as the successor is chosen by the Skewed Throne itself.
The white fire, a strange magical effect which has swept over the city twice in its history Once a thousand years ago an incident about which there seems to be a surprisingly accurate remaining history , and once just a handful of years before the action starts, is a mystery clearly meant to be solved in the sequels.
Varis is living in a market area on the fringe of the slums of the great city to start And this is where my big problem crops up.
In poor and poorly patrolled places, one usually gets an interesting and broad variety of crimes People are looking for escapes, so drugs or alcohol or cigarettes, or at least the untaxed and unregulated varieties, tend to run rife For similar reasons, gambling dens and their hope might come up, though they tend to be a middle to upper class thing People will go into prostitution in hopes of making extra money, or will kidnap and pimp out others so as to get he money without the risk Taxes tend to put a strain on already tight purses, so there tend to be smuggled goods, ranging from staples to luxuries This creates a world of smugglers, people with a hidden still in their basement, people running honest shops with something less honest available in the back for those who know how to ask Loan sharks take advantage of the desperate Thugs and bodyguards crop up all over, to protect a smuggler or pimp, to squeeze blood from a stone from the desperate victims of the loan sharks Kids and adults both realise working in groups gets than working alone, and form gangs, which soon, as a sheer matter of self defense, realise that letting members go who know anything is very bad for business, and develop both perks and threats to keep members in Thieves and opportunists hang around to snag whatever can be snagged.
In the underworld we re shown here, we only see the thieves and opportunists, of which our heroine is one, and one gang, which she belonged to but fled with zero consequences Otherwise, all the crime in the market Is rapists and serial murderers of women Women kidnapped off the street and raped then killed, some of them it seems so fast our heroine can t even follow from across the street and down a couple of alleys before it s done.
ALL OF IT Oh, except one man we see beat his girlfriend, the girlfriend of whom seems honest Although she eventually kills him in self defense.
True, there are, I think, 2 3 men whose actual crimes we don t know who are hunted by the law Which in this city state means being marked for death And Bloodmark, our heroine s rival, who does kill men as well as women, mostly in the name of the law When he does so with any excuse OTHER THAN It s a legal target , it s revenge on Varis so that even as the violence kills a man, it s all to hurt a woman I suppose fridging a man for a woman s sake is at least a bit of variety although I find it interesting that it s implied Varis has actually traded about 10 words with the man in question, in spite of how important she considers him I m hoping I misunderstood their encounter.
But this is not a real underworld It s a bloody mess where women are targets Except Varis.
And Varis remains the only exception Every other woman mentioned as existing in the market is a target, either of her, or of another thief, or of a rapist murderer.
Once we cross the river into the merchant levels of the city, we get cutthroat merchanting, bodyguards, paid assassins, and some thieves and would be rapists of opportunity There s no underworld here, but there s a whole lot of what we should have seen as an underworld and while there s a paucity of female characters even compared to the first section Mostly waitresses or prostitutes working in bars , at least they re not automatically and all targets.
Varis gets hired as a bodyguard here, then slowly converted into paid assassin There s an excellent undercurrent to this section, where she looks like she s going to be accepted into a family, and you can tell she wants that, but it never happens if anything, she slides further and further back over time from a possible family member to a mere bodyguard then to a mere tool to use.
Then and this isn t a spoiler as the first chapter explains it she s been hired to kill the Mistress of the city, whom the white fire has driven mad.
So the entire book and Varis s life history are all leading to and pointing to her meeting with the Mistress, the ruler of the city, who seems to be mad.
This book finally passes the Bechdel test on page 349 of 375 There might have been enough dialogue in flashback between Varis and her mother to count ONCE before that And well, the Mistress IS mad She s coherent enough to give Varis a little warning before the spoilery ending stuff, but I don t know It felt a bit underwhelming as a scene with the fate of their city state in question Oh, and the flashbacks that Varis get of centuries of history include yet another woman raped and murdered.
Ultimately, I think it comes done to, only Varis is allowed to be strong AND female.
A pity She was a good character Some of the men around her were interesting characters who needed done with them Erick, and William both felt like they could use time Borund was well drawn but used about the right amount Someone tell me Palmatier Tate got better Enough better I won t feel like I want to leave his worlds as fast as possible before someone murders me
This is good start that has its own surprises And it isn t like much of the derivative fantasy out there By that, I m talking about the dumb farm boy, who gets the talisman sword from the wise old man, to defeat the Dark Lord of Wherever Now if you do go for that derivative fantasy, don t let it get you down Expand your horizons and go for something different like this book Focus is on one character a close to pubery girl named Varis who lost her mother at a very young age and has become something of a thief in the seedy districts of the city She also has a special empath like power that lets her see into the souls of strangers and gauge if they re good or evil Look for a great deal of emphasis on how she steals food i.
e distracts some merchant while taking a piece of fruit as well as how she deals with hunger and loss The first sign of affection from someone nearly makes her burst into tears and this is one of the strong points of the character Rarely do such complex characters exist in fantasy tales Partway through the tale, Varis is hired by a royal assassin to find people for him, and, a bit later, kill people for him All come through order of the Skewed Throne, a magical seat which is controlled by a queen of sorts, who wields a great power to control the magical fluctuations Think of the Skewed Throne like some great magical item of mystery Moral issues arise as Varis discovers some of the intended targets of execution are not evil Moreover, matters become twisted when her mentor lets a competitor thief boy get training and his heart is very dark Through a series of events, Varis goes into hiding and becomes a bodyguard for a rich merchant Don t be fooled by her small size, though, her mentor trained her to be deadly with a knife People thinking she is weak works to her advantage However, the intrigue is just getting worse and it all ties into the Skewed Throne Look for a great deal of focus on the main character s stifled social skills as well as what it was really like to be a thief on the verge of starvation Deep themes of belonging and doing the right thing are also apparent.
The Skewed Throne is Joshua Palmatier s debut novel, the first in a trilogy set in the city of Amenkor The heroine is a girl named Varis, self proclaimed gutterscum with the ability to sense threats from those around her The strength of Palmatier s book lies in Varis Varis is a bitter girl, hardened by years of living in the Dredge, but she retains a core of humanity Her ability to slip into what she calls the river, where threats stand out as splashes of red in the currents of the world around her, makes her an intriguing point of view character The early chapters develop Varis as a character, and while the pace never slows, it feels like the central plot of the book doesn t really start moving until later We learn that the Mistress of Amenkor is losing her mind, and it is Varis and her gift who will have to put things right This is not a cheerful book There are at least five or six scenes of rape or attempted rape, as well as a number of killings Palmatier never glosses over the violence in Varis life, and it is a violent life indeed I have a great deal of respect for that kind of honesty from a writer At the same time, some of the rape and killing began to feel repetitive by the time we reached the mid point of the book The Skewed Throne stands alone as a novel, but you can see Palmatier setting the groundwork for the story to come The White Fire which swept through Amenkor and apparently gave Varis her gift is never really explained Only at the end do we receive our first clues, clues which will presumably be explained in the second and third books Perhaps the best recommendation is that I like Varis enough to want to read the next book And I m very eager to learn about the history of the Skewed Throne and the origin of the White Fire, things that were only touched on in this book While it might not appeal to everyone, if you enjoy grittier fantasy, I would recommend picking up The Skewed Throne.