Roundup: Stormlord Rising and Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

Dragon Age: Inquisition is coming out tomorrow, and I’d like to keep my evenings open to give me some time to play it. So the week’s post is going up today.

Stormlord Rising

Borrowed from glendalarke.com

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Synopsis: With cities lost to the Reduners, our protagonists have to find a way to turn the tide of battle around. Some are enslaved after the fall of their city. Some are free(ish), and determined to defeat the Reduner forces.

Jasper is a Cloudmaster, but there are things he can’t do. He needs to find a way to work despite his limitations, or people will die without water. Terelle has powers few understand, and is trapped by those same powers. She has to find a way to fight her destiny so that she might join a battle that desperately needs her.

Series: Second in a trilogy. (This one does wrap up in a nice ending–odd, that the first book had the cliffhanger and the second was a nice concrete stopping point–it’s usually the opposite with trilogies.)

POV: Third person multiple

Romance: As subplots, yes.

Preview: Here.

Oh dear. This book is even less fluffy than the first one, which I talked about here a few months back.

It deals with a difficult topic with more nuance than is typical. Maybe with more nuance than I’m personally ready for. Glenda Larke has guts to go into this territory, that’s for sure.

This book deals with the aftermath of a huge, decisive battle, and the lead-up towards the next one. Since the victors of the previous battle are nomadic, patriarchal warrior types who enslave enemy survivors…

There’s nothing graphic–that’s not what this story is about. It’s about emotions. It’s about how being indoctrinated to a certain type of mentality leads to brutality. It’s about how important it is to have been taught better. It’s even about showing that horrific acts are committed by people, rather than cardboard cut-out villains.

This doesn’t always make for a comfortable read, and it’s not trying to. But it does prompt thought about the kind of issues that we should think about, but often don’t. Because they’re hard to think about.

On the less uncomfortable side, there’s Shale–Jasper now–struggling to carve out some autonomy despite being chained by his responsibilities. And he’s doing surprisingly well. It’s gratifying to watch him succeed, and finally outsmart the people playing with his life in the first book. I suppose it’s a little sad what he has to lose in order to step up to his position. But I did enjoy the creativity he and Terelle employed in figuring out how to hinder and debilitate a superior fighting force. Jasper still feels like the main character of the story, by the way, despite sharing the field with other protagonists.

Terelle has to compromise her morals as much as Jasper to save their people, but she has a harder time with it. Not that Jasper doesn’t have a hard time with it, but necessity gets through to him more quickly than it does to Terelle. He realizes that it has to happen and regrets it, while she has to be pushed into acknowledging the necessity of it, first.

You know how in some stories, you wonder why the protagonists never used a particular power to just kill the bad guy? There’s a nice twist on that here–there was a moment in the first book when she could have killed one of the book’s big bads easily, and was ultimately unable to do it. And that turned out to be a good thing, because said bad guy was needed later. It makes it way nicer not to have to spend the whole story being like, this whole thing could have been avoided. Because, no, it couldn’t have.

This book is heavy on the emotions. The characters have to fight the fates laid out for them, do things they wish they didn’t have to do, and take on responsibilities they never asked for. They fight enemies stronger or more experienced than they are. And it’s a very personal journey for them, to do all these things.

Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

Borrowed from huluim.com

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: Favaro is a bounty hunter who makes the mistake of boasting about knowledge that he doesn’t have, and is unfortunate enough that a demon who wants that knowledge overhears him. The demon curses him with a tail as incentive to help her, and now Favaro is forced on an involuntary quest.

Series: Season 1

I’ve Watched: Episode 1

Verdict: Meh

The show starts off with a battle in which I have no idea what is going on. I guess it shows off the nice animation?

But the real fun starts shortly after, when our protagonist is involved in a horse chase. And those are some magic horses, since they run over slanted rooftops as easily as they would on an actual road. That was pretty much the only scene I enjoyed, and everything else failed to grab my attention, at least in a positive way.

Our main protagonist is Favaro, and I kinda hate him. I think he’s supposed to be a likable rogue, but there’s nothing likable in the way he treats people. Other than that, not enough material to get a real impression of the show yet. But I’m already put off, and I honestly can’t work up the energy to force myself to watch another episode. I’m out.

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