Born to the Blade 1.2: Fault Lines by Marie Brennan: I’m still feeling the promise of the series, but want more.

My intent has been to comment on these the week of release, but I just haven’t been able to keep up with everything — today I try to fix that (or get closer, anyway).

Fault LinesFault Lines

by Marie Brennan
Series: Born to the Blade, #1.2

Kindle Edition, 44 pg.
Serial Box, 2018

Read: May 1, 2018
So straight out of the gate, this makes me happy: there’s a “previously on” section — which is great, and something we need to see more of) — and a Dramatis Personae (with a cast this big, a major plus).

The question is, can episode 2 build on the goodwill that the ending of 1 caused? Ehhh…sorta? We get to know the island this takes place on a little better, the culture there — and some more about the nations represented (and those representing them). There’s some revealing interaction with Kris and Michiko, and it’s clear that’s where our focus should be. but I sorta want more time with Ojo than with them. That’s more about Ojo being interesting than the other two annoying me by their actions at the end of the episode. But not much.

For a fantasy world, I like the strange governmental structure — a mix of diplomacy and single combat — that they’ve developed for this series. In reality, ugh. But this is fantasy. so sure, why not? But I’m not sure that I’m buying it. There’s a seeming lack of advisors for these diplomats, which is hard to swallow (though narratively neater), especially with Michiko and Kris there’s a naiveté that screams that these people shouldn’t be left to their own devices. They’re like college students out on their own. Yeah, they might be capable, but they need some more wisdom. Letting an entire people’s futures to be determined by what a young, untried warrior (no matter how talented) who’s easily swayed by elders and friendliness is . . . suggestive of problems.

I think I like this series, but I’m not sure. Goodwill toward a couple of the authors will carry you for a bit, I’m just not sure how long it’ll last without the series doing a better job of entertaining me. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just not totally sold. This many pages in, I should be. I want to be — but I don’t think I am yet. I still assume it’s coming.

—–

3 Stars

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