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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Honor's Knight by Rachel Bach (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Official Author Website  
Order “Honor's KnightHERE 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "The Spirit Thief
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit Rebellion” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit Eater” & “Spirit’s Oath” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit War” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Spirit's End"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Fortune's Pawn"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Interview with Rachel Aaron
Read Eli Monpress series completion interview with Rachel Aaron
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Interview with Rachel Bach

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Rachel Bach (Rachel Aaron) lives in Athens, Georgia with her family. She has graduated from University of Georgia with a B.A. in English Literature. She has been an avid reader since her childhood and now has an ever-growing collection to show for it. She loves gaming, Manga comics & reality TV police shows. She also blogs occasionally on the Magic Districts website.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: Devi Morris has a lot of problems. And not the fun, easy-to-shoot kind either.

After a mysterious attack left her short several memories and one partner, she's determined to keep her head down, do her job, and get on with her life. But even though Devi's not actually looking for it -- trouble keeps finding her. She sees things no one else can, the black stain on her hands is growing, and she is entangled with the cook she's supposed to hate.

But when a deadly crisis exposes far more of the truth than she bargained for, Devi discovers there are worse fates than being shot, and sometimes the only people you can trust are the ones who want you dead.

CLASSIFICATION: The Paradox trilogy is an action-packed SF series with romantic elements. Think of it as “Kate Daniels in armor while fighting aliens in space” or possibly a female heroine version of the Shadow Warrior series by Chris Bunch.

FORMAT/INFO: Honor's Knight  is 384 pages long divided over fifteen numbered chapters and a prologue. Narration is in the first person solely via Deviana “Devi” Morris and in the third person for Brian Caldswell, Yasmina and her father. There's also an excerpt from Heaven’s Queen (book III of the Paradox trilogy).

February 25, 2014 marks the Trade paperback and e-book publication of Honor’s Knight via Orbit Books.

ANALYSIS: After reading Fortune’s Pawn, I realized that Rachel Bach (Aaron) wasn't going to be a one-series wonder. The book introduced readers to Devi Morris and the weird world and universe she inhabits. It was an exciting read and also gave out a lot of questions to be answered. I wanted to see how the author would develop the story and what secrets would be revealed. After reading this book, I can say it simply blew my socks off with all its twists and revelations. I've said it before and I'll say it again "Rachel Aaron really knows how to plot a story and outsmart the reader", also there will be mild spoilers for the Fortune's Pawn and the Paradox trilogy so for those who haven't read the first book, be warned.

At the end of Fortune's Pawn, Devi is left a bit shell shocked after the attack on The Glorious Fool. However she can't remember much and cannot explain her intense dislike for the ship's cook. But with Devi being who she is, she soldiers on and soon finds herself in trouble that literally spans the whole universe. The main plot deals with all the mysterious happenings of the first book. What are those things that Devi sees but no one else does? Who or what is Ren, the tiny, quiet girl that is Brian Caldswell's daughter? Who is Rupert and what is he doing masquerading as a cook? What really happened in the Xith-Cal spacecraft? All these and a lot of questions were raised in the first volume and thankfully in this sequel, we get many answers and then some.

This middle volume basically is the author's revelation book in regards to all the main plots, surprises and secrets. If you are like me and enjoy an epic storyline, then you will love Honor's Knight as Rachel Bach gives a story involving a grave threat to all sentient races, scary ginormous alien creatures that dwarf most human imagination and lastly what is the core mystery behind Ren and all the strange phenomena that Devi encountered in the first book. There's also much more about the Eyes, the strange organization that is sparsely mentioned as well as the main secrets involving Brian Caldswell and his motley crew aboard the Glorious Fool that have spawned this storyline.

The plot twists and revelation form the core of this story and this book admirably avoids the middle-book syndrome. Also I feel that with regards to the two book released so far, Honor's Knight is the better one. As to why I think so, it is due to the fantastic pace of the book, beginning with Devi in her post-traumatic state, things soon unravel at a rate that leaves Devi harried and barely able to keep up. The author admirably gives up a multitude of plot revelations that will satisfy all the reader questions that have arisen from the preceding volume and also make this read such a fantastic one. If you previously enjoyed the action and romantic aspects of the story, then be glad as the author builds on those fronts and rather goes out of her way to upstage the reader expectations.

Again with all books, there are usually some negatives to be found. With this book though, it will be very subjective, I didn't find any points that stuck in my craw. However I'm sure that this might not be the case with everyone. If you found something to nitpick about Fortune's Pawn then you will surely find something over here as well. Lastly one point though which has been not covered is the whole Terran-Paradox split and so far a spotlight hasn't been shone on Paradox the world and its society. I would really like to know more and hopefully Heaven's Queen might be the book to do so.

CONCLUSION: If you think you have it all figured out you are wrong, if you thought that this was going to be a simple love story with Devi & Rupert, you would be doubly wrong. And lastly if you thought that the author couldn't mix action with epic SF successfully then you HAVE to read this book and series. Rachel Bach simply outdoes herself with this one and whatever anticipation, I had was simply blown away by the awesomeness of this story. 


Library Rat said...

Nice review. There is definitely a lot going on that we're not clear on yet. And I agree, Rachel Bach really knows how to combine everything we want from space opera!

Hope you don't mind, I linked to the review at the end of mine! :)

The Reader said...

Hi Joel,

Thank you for your kind comments and yes Rachel Bach really went all out in this trilogy. I hope you enjoyed the awesome conclusion to it as well.

Thank you for linking my review, I really appreciate it mate.



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