Wednesday, January 14, 2015

All the Windwracked Stars

So it's less than a week after I finished By the Mountain Bound and I'm already finished All the Windwracked Stars.  I actually finished reading it last night when I couldn't sleep - rather than wasting my time trying to sleep, I thought I'd be useful.  And the story had really caught me by that point, so I was really eager to finish.

Unfortunately, it didn't start out that way.  The first chapter of All the Windwracked Stars is almost exactly the last chapter of By the Mountain Bound (it's the epic battle between the Children of the Light and the Tarnished).  Once that was finished, All the Windwracked Stars then went into a lot of worldbuilding.  You see, Valdyrgard may be dying thanks to that battle, but it's taking its sweet time about doing it!  Over 2000 years pass, and Muire, last of the Valkyries, is in the last remaining human city.  And it's there that she finds Mingan haunting her city.  For Mingan has found Cathoair, a beautiful boy with the soul of Strifbjorn.

It took until about halfway through the book before I really got hooked with this story.  Eiledon (the last city) is being held together by the Technomancer Thjierry Thorvaldsdottir's power.  It was at the point that you start to realize some of the bad Thjierry has done that the story gets really interesting.  It seems she has been using the swords of the Children of the Light to take power from the rest of the world and funnel it into saving Eiledon - she is literally killing the rest of the world to save this one city.  She's also found a way to infuse the souls of the dead Children of the Light into animal bodies, making them into slaves. And she wants Muire's help or at least cooperation to keep this system in place.

One thing I was struck by, especially during the first half of the book, was that I was glad I'd read By the Mountain Bound first.  By the Mountain Bound gives you the background of a lot of characters who are generally just mentioned in All the Windwracked Stars.  So if you're planning on reading this series, I recommend doing what I did and reading the first two books in reverse order.

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