schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
[personal profile] schneefink
I recently finished & enjoyed the first two books of the "Inda" series, and I'm currently reading the third. I wanted an distraction while a group of people overseas voted to kill millions of their own citizens, but then the characters rode into battle and I needed a break while worrying about which fictional characters will survive (and how.) Though this fantasy series has fewer and less evil enemies than reality.

The first book, Inda, was enjoyable but not really enthralling. Too much of it felt like set-up. It didn't help that I never really warmed up to the main character. Inda is smarter than everyone around him, he's good at whatever he does, his mother breaks a decade-long vow of secrecy among women and orders his sister to teach him women's secret martial arts, he's the only one among the scrubs who doesn't get a stupid nickname; but the moment his status as a Mary Sue (a term which apparently I hate only when applied to female characters) was cemented for me was when Cherry-Stripe mused about how much he wanted to be Inda's friend because he's so amazing, even though he was ordered to be his enemy. Characters like Inda, to me, are almost never interesting on their own, only in their relationships with other characters. I really liked (the potential of) Inda&Tanrid, Inda&Evred, and Inda&Tau, and I was very disappointed when two of these died. I did expect Tanrid and Tau to eventually die, but later, after we got more interactions that I was really looking forward to. Bäh.
Tdor, Hadand, Evred and maybe some others also have a lot of potential, I hope to see more in the next book.

The second book, The Fox, I did not want to put down once I started, and I finished it in one day at 2am. It has a lot of tropes and character dynamics that I really like, and the plot moved quickly (for ¾ of the book.) I did not expect Evred to become king in the middle of book 2!, I thought it would take a lot longer. On the one hand the Harskialdna and Sierlaef are dead, which is good, but he's still in a terrible position now, inexperienced king of a poor kingdom with failing magic and war threatening, and with very few if any good advisors. I was very sorry Captain Sindan died (though at least he had a good death.) I liked Evred's relationship with Hadand too, poor Hadand. (I was surprised how many unrequited feelings the book put emphasis on, I don't think I've seen that often but I'm not sure if I just don't remember right now.)
Inda the pirate commander! I loved his relationships with Tau and Jeje and Fox. The most interesting thing about characters like Inda are usually the people around them, and the ~rivalry between Tau and Fox is a great example.
I was very happy that Tau and Jeje survived; Tau in particular has probably become my favorite. And the author is setting up a mystery around his mother's background, which probably means he won't be killed off soon, good. Tau & Jeje is also a great combination.
For some reason I'm not really interested in the Venn, except as enemies. I don't really have a clear picture of them, except that their magic uses some Viking concepts. Probably contributing to that was that the last quarter of the book felt slower compared to the others. It took until the very last page for Inda to find out that Evred has become king, seriously? Ah well.

I like the omniscient narrator a lot, I enjoy getting glimpses into different characters' heads during the same scene. I also like the casual household magic in the background, and the natural way queer people are shown as part of the world. I want queer people in all media and everywhere, and I want them to punch dark lords and evil politicians in the face.
Back to the battle.
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