|What a gorgeous cover!|
Slow start but amazing payoff!
Abridged for you lazies out there.
The Good+Characters with hearts of gold.
+Olina/Frost character development
+Smooth writing/Easy reading.
+The return of some cool characters.
+Plenty of humor and heart.
+A superb second and third part of the story that I just could not put down.
+Romance and sexiness.
+Positive book for women with many strong female characters.
The Bad-Very slow start
-Pit fights required much suspension of disbelief especially during Frost's fights
-The mystery of finding the killer becomes so drawn out that I lost interest in it during the pits part.
If you don't know already Fantasy of Flight is the sequel to Fantasy of Frost. Both books star a queen in the making, Olina and her dealings with two worlds: the fire world Osolis and the ice world Glacium. Spoilers below!!!! Book received for an honest review.
ReviewOkay so let's just get the bad out of the way. I didn't like the time I spent in the pits so much. The setup was just fine but it was pretty slow and everything that I found appealing about the first book was just derailed. Finding Kedrick's killer was just an afterthought as were the characters we'd just grown accustomed to. It seemed like a whole other book but that's not my main gripe.
My main gripe with this part was the amount of head shaking I did at 80% of Frost's fights. You see, I'm a combat junkie and a huge fan of the Davids of the world beating the Goliaths but come on this was ridiculous. We're told over and over by Frost herself that these men are 2, 3, and 4 times her size and yet she's the dominant one in each and every one of these fights. No real strategy but dodge and kick real hard. No pressure points, joint locks, or holds believable for a person of her size to perform to beat guys of this size. Even speed only goes so far against this much of a size difference. We're also not told she has super strength or anything like that so my conclusion is that these guys are made of glass or she was just lying about how tough they are. She's a great fighter sure, but she wasn't the underdog as much as she should've been and that hurt this part in my eyes. I could believe her crazy combat victories before because the advantage of speed with a weapon is very different than the advantage of speed with bare hands
By the end of the pits I had at least grown to like the characters but I was glad to leave. Then...
We get to the superb second third of the book. From here on out the book really shines and I now have a new appreciation for the part with the pits, really because it sets up the next part so nicely. This is the part of the book that blends what I liked about the first book with the new stuff introduced in this one and it’s a joy to watch the two parts merge. Here we got to see Olina try to balance her new arena/pits persona with the Tatuma Olina persona. We see her old friends and her new friends interact and attempt to get along and are given some truly heartfelt and humorous moments here. This part also reignited my interest in locating Kedrick's killer that had begun to wane since a little after the middle of the first book and almost vanished during the first part.
Olina and Jovan's relationship reaches new heights here as I believe they have exhausted every emotion possible towards one another and all that reaches its apex. Jovan is a really cool part of this series.
There's also a lot of huge reveals here that took me by surprise and I'm excited by how they'll affect the next book in the series, Fantasy of Fire that's due to release next January. I'll just say that the flight in the title really does come into play hehe.
So all that leaves is Olina/Frost I guess and I must say that despite her many times annoying me, I have grown to like her a lot as a character. Her rashness and sometimes selfish actions do always have a good reason behind them and ultimately define her as a hero because of her will to be a force for good and a champion for those without champions. I've begun to see her for what she really is and what she really brings to the table. She is strong-willed, confident yet sometimes self-conscious, analytical, naive yet willing to learn and participate, open minded despite her conservative upbringing, and extremely big hearted despite the horrors done to her and witnessed. Good or bad this is her and she definitely sticks to her guns! And her narration seems to be improving as she opens up more to the world. I like this effect.
There's much more to say but I won't draw this out. I ended up liking all the characters from the pits so much that I was actually sad to see them go. That surprised me. I like Alzona's crusade for helping those downtrodden and thought she was a very subtle and positive character. Kudos to Ms. St. Clare for putting her in and not overusing her. And the rest of the pit fighters, even Sin, showed some great depth to them. So while not my favorite part, the pit did have some really cool moments.
Overall I believe this is a better book than the first one but the beginning nearly drags it down for me. I love the second and third parts of it so much though that I still think it’s worthy of 5 stars. Not perfection but a damn good time!
Book Links:Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24866809-fantasy-of-flight
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Flight-Tainted-Accords-Book-ebook/dp/B00TXWVMHQ
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fantasy-Flight-Tainted-Accords-Book-ebook/dp/B00TXWVMHQ