Really enjoyed this first book of the YA series The Order of Darkness set in Renaissance Italy. The cast of characters are individually distinctive and interesting, especially the two support characters Frieze (the annoyingly talkative and interfering man-servant)and the no-nonsense action girl Moor, Ishraq.
I liked that the tribes were meritocratic and not based on gender. Tribal leadership went from mother to daughter. The relationships between Breaca and her brother and two lovers is interesting. The Dark ages that followed were truly dark and limited!
The book was a bit boring and repetitive in places with all the wars. The book was too long. But I am going to persevere with the series.
Another book like Secret History, where the protagonist is weak, self-pitying, traumatised and chooses friends who get him into affluent society, drugs, alcohol and chronic smoking. Also, like the Secret History the protagonist chooses the path of a criminal. The locations are different and there is a slight tweak in the storyline, but essentially if you read this book without knowing the author and after reading Secret History, you’d recognise the writing style, vocabulary and plot.
Again like Secret History, the book starts very well with the reader routing for the protagonist and then as the protagonist slides into despair and makes bad decisions, the reader becomes detached and wishes the book were over.
My favourite characters in this book are Popchyk the dog, Hobbie the naïve one and the protagonist’s mother. The others are hard to empathise with.
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