01/05/2009. Contributed by Kelly Jensen
pub: Baen. 304 page hardcover. Price: £14.39 (UK), $16.32 (US). ISBN 1416591532.
check out website: www.baen.com
'Longeye', the sequel book in this neat duology begins exactly where 'Duainfey' left off. It's almost as if they literally tore the manuscript in half! The short version is that Becca and Longeye meet and join forces to save the world. The long version, thankfully, is more complicated than that, keeping this second novel moving along at a brisk pace, slowly revealing and unravelling the plot.
Of course, in keeping with the feel of a nineteenth century romance novel, Becca and Longeye initially despise one another. They only come together through magic and perseverance as they learn the fate of the trees and how it connects to the barrier, her land and, in fact, the entire known world.
Altimere is caught up in an unexpected situation that takes him nearly the entire novel to unravel. This is convenient to the plot as during his attempts to escape we learn more about his character and his political ambitions, adding to the under-current of court intrigue that expedites the plot.
Although I really liked this pair of books and would recommend them to readers of fantasy and romance with little reservation, I still have mixed personal feelings about why the story was split into two novels, neither of which can stand alone, but must be read together. While I might have preferred one more tightly edited version topping out between 450 and 500 pages I have noticed a recent trend toward smaller books, shorter series. I know many readers who are taking to the lightening of their loads with great enthusiasm.
Steve Miller and Sharon Lee started writing stories set in the Liaden Universe over 20 years ago. Not only do they have their ninth title in the series due out this month, but have also published several other series, including the duology 'Duainfey' and 'Longeye', reviewed here. Aside from their collaborative projects they are well-established authors on their own. You can learn more about their work and read sample chapters of both 'Duainfey' and 'Longeye' at the Baen website.
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