Mini-Reviews: Jole, Moriarty, Daughter

Lois McMaster Bujold, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

***Warning: SPOILERS for previous books in the series!***

This book, the last installment of the Vorkosigan saga (at least for now), comes full circle to focus once again on Cordelia. Three years after Aral’s death, she is contemplating the next stage of her life. Meanwhile, Admiral Oliver Jole is at a similar crossroads. He has a complicated history with both Aral and Cordelia, but when he and Cordelia truly talk to each other for the first time since Aral’s death, their relationship begins to change in unexpected ways. I’m of two minds about this book. I liked being back in Cordelia’s POV, and Oliver is also very likable and sympathetic, though he’s basically a brand-new character (he pops up once or twice in passing, in previous books). But viewing this as the final book in the series, I think it falls short. There’s not much Miles, and no Ivan or Mark at all. Plus, I think the series is just as much about Barrayar as it is about Miles and the other characters; it’s the story of a planet’s slow growth and change for the better, and I wanted to see more resolution of that arc. This is still a good novel, but it’s not one of my favorite installments of the series.

Sherry Thomas, Miss Moriarty, I Presume?

Charlotte Holmes faces her most dangerous case yet when Moriarty himself offers her a job. His daughter has gone to live at an isolated religious commune in Cornwall, and he claims to be worried about her well-being. He wants Charlotte to infiltrate the commune and report back on his daughter’s health and habits. Though Charlotte knows Moriarty isn’t telling the full truth, she agrees to investigate in the hope of discovering his hidden agenda. I really want to like this series more than I do, but the truth is, I’ve lost interest. Like the last few installments, this book really drags, plot-wise, and a lot of new characters are introduced only to be ultimately dismissed as irrelevant. I no longer care about the Charlotte/Lord Ingram romance, which seems pretty static at this point, and Moriarty just isn’t working for me as a villain. I’m current with the series now, but I doubt I’ll read the next book when it comes out.

Carol Berg, Daughter of Ancients

***Warning: SPOILERS for previous books in the series!***

The evil Lords of Zhev’Na have been defeated, but their followers, the Zhid, still remain to wreak havoc on Avonar. Meanwhile, a beautiful young woman claims to be the daughter and true heir of D’Arnath, held captive by the Lords in an enchanted sleep for a thousand years. She seems to be truthful and well-meaning, but is she hiding darker secrets? Gerick decides to find out, but his mission becomes complicated by his attraction to her. This final book in the Bridge of D’Arnath series is a satisfying conclusion in which all the main characters end up where they should, and there’s a nice romantic subplot as well. The ending drags on a bit, but overall I quite enjoyed both this book and the series as a whole. I’m glad I finally decided to tackle it this year, though it’s not one I plan to reread.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s