Monday, September 10, 2007

KING'S PROPERTY - Final Review

Every once in a while, a novel comes along with a character that I absolutely love. Dar, in Morgan Howell's KING'S PROPERTY, is such a character. She is fierce, protective, passionate, scarred, loyal, and wise.

The characterization was the strongest point in KING'S PROPERTY. The plot is fairly linear and straightforward. It holds few surprises, with one or two exceptions. There is no suspense here, no surprising plot twists and no tangled-up intrigue. However, it is the characters that kept me reading and made me glad that I have a copy of the second book.

The ending was foreseen by Dar, which was why there were few surprises. The manner in which her visions came about, however, could not be predicted. I liked the way Howell mixes superstition and magic so you cannot tell the difference. In one scene, a number or orcs who survived a battle were convinced that they survived because of a blessing Dar gave them. In a later scene, she acts on this superstition to bless the orcs again.

The conflict between Dar and the Murdant Koh is unresolved by the end of the novel. A hint of what might be a romance has sprung up between Dar and a human man named Sevren. I say "might" because the one kiss that she does give him seems like a thank-you kiss more than anything else. The strongest-developed male is her orcish friend and protector, Kovok-mah. By the end of the book, it is clear that Kovok-mah will follow her anywhere.

The ending of KING'S PROPERTY marks a major turning point in the plot, but it is certainly not the end. If this were all in one volume, I would have expected to turn the page and see PART TWO at this point. I suspect that this will not bother many fantasy fans, who are accustomed to long-running series.

I truly loved KING'S PROPERTY and I highly recommend it.

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