I question why I even bothered to read this. I greatly disliked the character of Froi from Finnikin of the Rock, he was just a little attempted-raper shit. But due to the extremely high reviews I decided that perhaps this story was genuinely good and I should give it a try. Honestly all it left me with was wondering how the hell so many people enjoyed this.
The general issue with this book is it that it is in essence a convoluted soap opera. Every single character is messed up. The relationships are either sappy or creepy. And quite frankly, there are too damn many characters period. And the book is FAR too long. In fact I may change the rating from 2 to 1 stars since I honestly cannot think of anything terribly interesting about this novel.
I still don't like Froi. I don't see why there is any reason to. In one way Quintana and Froi deserve each other. He is messed up in a number of ways and she is just CRAZY. And how exactly is what Froi did with Quintana any better than rape? I don't see how it changed much from the time he refused to sleep with her to the time he did.
Overall the relationship between Froi and Quintana just felt creepy. The repeated sexual abuse she has gone through, the approach he has to having sex with her, the sex overall, the comments about his tongue (ugh), the inexplicable attraction Froi feels for her despite consistent comments against her and so on and so on leave me less than convinced they are a good couple. The scenes with them and the scenes with Froi thinking of Quintana varied between crazy/creepy and sappy. My eyes could not stop rolling.
The "normal" couple of Finnikin and Isaboe I suppose was meant to counteract the crazy that is Froi and Quintana. But their sappiness did nothing but add to the soap opera effect. Look at how happy this couple is! This is how Froi and Quintana will be in the third book! Yay! Plus, what the hell is with the obsession with sex and children? Why has no one picked up on the fact that themes in which obsessing over having a child is dull as hell? Or is it just because I have no interest in reproducing myself? Isaboe, Quintana...let's just make everyone pregnant because it is always so exciting to discuss breastfeeding. Woo.
The book was too long. I wished for once someone said they were going to go somewhere and just GOT there already. Everything in this series is verbose and exceedingly slow. Even the conservations between the characters are veiled. Why does no one say exactly what they mean without being complicated or coating it with other crap? The "high fantasy" elements are such a bore...the descriptions of the different regions/peoples, the monologues from various characters of this history or that. Why does everyone in the book have some long sob story or history to tell? How is this practical at all?
So much yet so little happens in this book. If you like soap operas you may in fact like this one as everyone sleeps with everyone else and there are crazy people! Tell me again why I am supposed to like Quintana or Froi or this book?