Stop If you have not read Range of Ghosts, preferably in the last year, then you re really going to be confused for the first quarter of this book It does all sort out so that you don t have to have read the first on, but c mon, it s great, you want to anyway.
Ok, that said What an excellent second book Unlike many middle books in a trilogy, this one is fast paced, compelling, and full of character development At no time did I feel like we were just marking time until the climax It is just that there is too much story to fit in one or two books.
If the first book was about the formation of the Fellowship of the Oddballs, warrior, wizard, priest, tiger , this one is about figuring out what you want to accomplish with your life besides pure survival Temur has to decide not to be a refugee, but rather a king in exile Edene becomes a ruler in her own right Samarkar finds a direction to harness her power toward It s a wild tapestry with a ton of threads to follow, but unlike a Tom Clancy book, everyone has their own motivations and voice, so it is much easier to keep clear what is going on Being a middle book, of course, there is a lot of wrapping up to be accomplished in the next book, but I will be right at the front of the virtual release line.
As usual for a book by Bear, the language is amazing and evocative There is as description of the smell of water that made me thirsty And the trenchant voice of the characters, such as Samarkar thinking, She comforted herself that no matter how far she traveled, no matter how changed her role, she was still and always would be a scandal There are worse things to aspire to than being a permanently scandalous woman Or Hrahima saying, I don t believe in God She drops by once in a while and we argue about it read if You are looking for not another swords and Arthur fantasy You like books about adults, who sometimes have to make decisions about least bad options You want a world sweeping fantasy where travel is actually time consuming and problematic.
Skip if You can t read about plague, bugs, liches, or women in control of their sexuality.
Also read This Well, buy the first one, Range of Ghosts and read it But you should buy this one now, to encourage the publisher.
This book, the second in the series, did not let me down So often the middle child of a trilogy is fundamentally lacking But not so here, oh no The characters you love return, and you re introduced to new ones that you begin to love as well The plot moves forward, instead of spinning its wheels in a holding pattern and keeping all that good stuff for the final book.
And Hrahima She, if you don t already know, is a mysterious magical tiger woman warrior That should be enough to get you to read this series C mon.
I can t wait to get the next and sob last one under my belt and into my brain.
5 stars I really enjoyed this book There was so much going on and the it was written with a very different kind of intensity Shattered Pillars essentially picks up where Range of Ghosts left off and continues to develop both the characters and the evolving storylines from there While I really enjoyed Range of Ghosts, Shattered Pillars definitely turned things up a notch in terms of its complexity I love Bear s use of language, which I find quite different from some of the other writers I have been reading lately There is a certain cadence to her writing that goes well with the world that she is trying to create, which for me, really came alive in this book in particular.
Sadly, I did not enjoy Bear s second novel set in her intriguing take on Earth s steppe nomads, as well as neighboring regions While I adored the first book, Shattered Pillars suffered some of the the symptoms of second book syndrome New characters that the reader is not connected with, because they are new duh I spent most of the time thinking Why can t I be reading about Temur,Sarmarkar, and Hrahima An exploration of new places that aren t as nifty as previous ones A feeling that the plot is spinning it s wheels , waiting for the third volume to really get going.
It was the third aspect that spoiled the novel for me I felt the characters spent most of the book, moving from place to place, getting nothing done whatsoever Temur feels compelled to track and free Edene, but never seems to get any closer to solving his problem In addition, some of the events of the novel seemed a bit random, a bit odd for the sake of odd I quite like Bear s take on fantasy, but sometimes it seemed she was trying a bit too hard.
Many readers here have rated the novel much higher than I have, so perhaps this novel just didn t click with my tastes Bear s writing is still stellar, and I certainly intend to read the next volume with the hopes she hits that high mark once again.
Just so you know, everyone in this story is pregnant Ok, that s not true, but there does seem to be a lot of pregnancy among main ish characters I guess it s like when the one woman in your circle is gravid and then everyone gets gravid.
I enjoyed this book the story continues to be questy fantasy but the environments, the world, it s all just so intriguing I do not recommend waiting years between the first one and this one, though I had forgotten so much and now I realize that I should probably just start over from the beginning before I launch into the third.
This was easier to read, not the struggle the last one was for me As a trade off, though, I wasn t quite as pleased to have read it once it was all said and done I really liked it but I didn t love it like I did Range of Ghosts And that ending So abrupt I kept trying to peel the page apart, certain the last two pages were stuck together and there was at least another paragraph, if not.
I m interested in how the whole Edene Samarkar Tenur thing is going to shake out because that seems like maybe it could be a mess And when did Hrahima become a knower of every single thing ever I admit, that bothered me at the end I kept wanting to ask her, How do you know becausehow did she know So, GR friends, how come none of you have read these It makes me sad You people are making me sad And lonely.
I love what Bear is doing with gender in this epic fantasy series There is a perfect equilibrium between men and women, between there roles and there support to one another, that is such joy to read The thing that prevents Shattered Pillars to be the perfect novel that Range of Ghosts was, is the fact that, being the second book in a trilogy, we spend less time with Temur and Sarmarkar, and time with some characters that are generic epic fantasy, but are necessary for the future conflicts and for giving life and substance to the world Anyway, I have not doubt that the third novel will be an incredible reading experience.
The Shattered Pillars Is The Second Book Of Bear S The Eternal Sky Trilogy And The Sequel To Range Of Ghosts Set In A World Drawn From Our Own Great Asian Steppes, This Saga Of Magic, Politics And War Sets Re Temur, The Exiled Heir To The Great Khagan And His Friend Sarmarkar, A Wizard Of Tsarepheth, Against Dark Forces Determined To Conquer All The Great Empires Along The Celedon RoadElizabeth Bear Is An Astonishing Writer, Whose Prose Draws You Into Strange And Wonderful Worlds, And Makes You Care Deeply About The People And The Stories She Tells The World Of The Eternal Sky Is Broadly And Deeply Created Her Award Nominated Novella, Bone And Jewel Creatures Is Also Set There To say a thing is to make it so Well conceived and well told epic fantasy Bear s created world breathes authenticity Spared returning reader retelling the first book, though a new reader may not pick up the stakes and the players as quickly Everything is lazy Maintains the high standards of Range of Ghosts but still drifts a little sideways Nothing requires a story stretch to three volumes if it can be told in two Ends with the right mix of hope and despair It s easier to be shared than to share.