I suppose that breaking novels into short installments makes it easy to read a short section and have a sense of fulfillment. It does make the installments hard to review, though, since they’re necessarily incomplete. Also, the original novels here were not huge – 300-400 pages, I recall – and I find chapters work pretty well as stopping points.
Formatting quibbles aside, this is a strong continuation of the book/series and larger series. There’s a little less grotesquerie here, and more character development. I’m also happy to see that homosexuality (being ‘fey’) is a little more accommodate here than the previous section suggested, though its place in the culture is still a bit uncertain. It’s not a big point, but the previous section left me a little uncomfortable – another drawback of breaking the book into pieces.
While short, this central section of the book is compelling, intriguing, and engaging. We not only get some development of the main characters and the central plot, we got some interesting backstory about Dubric’s role in the past war – a key item of interest for me. Part of the draw of these books is the fact that there is a rich backstory, but that it is backstory – part of the characters’ and world’s fascinating past. I like seeing it unfold in personal reminiscences, as here.