Treason Keep: More of the same

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review Jennifer Fallon Medalon The Demon Child Trilogy, The Hythrun ChroniclesTreason Keep by Jennifer Fallon

Treason Keep, the sequel to Medalon, is more of the same: a fast pace and fun characters overshadow the not-so-tight plot.

Jennifer Fallon keeps things interesting by expertly developing a couple of characters who were briefly introduced in her first book: Damin Wolfblade, an intelligent barbarian warlord (always a good thing, in my opinion), and Adrina, a spoiled princess whose daddy wants to marry her off because he’s tired of paying for her escapades — she just demolished the city’s wharf while trying to dock a nobleman’s yacht while she was drunk (the yacht sank). I was impressed with how Ms Fallon gave us very short but meaningful glimpses of Damin and Adrina in the first novel — their personalities in Treason Keep were completely consistent with what we had previously learned about them, and it was clear that Ms Fallon had consciously prepared that. I noticed this sort of preparation for the future in this novel, too. For example, at one point, Tarja tells Damin that he’ll owe him a big favor, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing the fulfillment of this in a later installment.

So Damin and Adrina join Tarja and R’shiel, the established main characters who we already know and love, and several other old and new characters, making this novel both familiar and fresh. Fallon effectively uses different characters’ points of view to tell the story (Adrina’s point of view is particularly entertaining) and there is enough humor and romance to counterbalance some of the disturbing and violent events.

There were a few things that just didn’t make sense to me, however. For example, Joyhinia is now out of commission and a large group of the Defenders have broken off from the Sisterhood and gone north to defend Medalon from the Kariens without permission of the Sisters. There is a lot of fretting about how to trick the quorum into making Mahina First Sister so that she can sanction their plans and send more Defenders. An elaborate and unreliable scheme is contrived when it seems safer, and more likely to work, to just go to the quorum and tell them the truth: “Hey sisters, look at Joyhinia. She’s lost her mind and there’s a bunch of our enemies massed at the border. Could we appoint a new leader and send some troops to defend the country?”

Also, the religious and magical systems seem arbitrary and convenient. It’s not quite clear what gods and demons can do (and when), why R’shiel can call them to help her sometimes but not other times, what kinds of powers she has, and how the magic works. And why does she wear Harshini dragon rider leathers but never rides a dragon?

The plot of Treason Keep is not drum-tight, but the characterization and pleasant writing style make this an enjoyable read nonetheless.

The Hythrun Chronicles — (2000-2016) Publisher: According to legend, the last king of the Harshini sired a half-human child, known as the Demon Child, born to destroy a god… The Sisterhood of the Blade rules Medalon with an iron fist — an iron fist within the steel gauntlet of the Defenders, elite warriors sworn to uphold the sisters and keep Medalon free of heathen influence. R’shiel, daughter of the First Sister of the Blade, has pulled against the short leash of her mother ever since she was a child. Her half-brother, Tarja, is the dutiful son who serves as a Captain in the Defenders. But when they run afoul of their mother’s machinations, they must flee for their lives. They soon find themselves caught up in the rebellion against the Sisterhood, though they revile their fellow conspirators heathen belief in the Harshini — a fabled race of magical beings thought long extinct. But then Tarja and R’shiel encounter Brak, an Harshini outcast, who forces them to face the most shocking fact of all: the Demon Child, thought to be nothing more than legend, may have been loosed in Medalon.

The Demon Child Trilogy

Jennifer Fallon Demon Child Trilogy: Medalon, Treason Keep, HarshiniJennifer Fallon Demon Child Trilogy: Medalon, Treason Keep, HarshiniJennifer Fallon Demon Child Trilogy: Medalon, Treason Keep, Harshini

The Wolfblade Trilogy is a prequel to The Demon Child Trilogy

Jennifer Fallon Hythrun: Wolfblade, Warrior, WarlordJennifer Fallon Hythrun: Wolfblade, Warrior, WarlordJennifer Fallon Hythrun: Wolfblade, Warrior, Warlord

War of the Gods Trilogy

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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