published in 2006
The greatest value of Marla Wolfblade, Hythria’s beautiful, 15-year-old princess, lies in the political marriage her brother, High Prince Lernen, can make for her and the heirs to the throne she may produce. Unfortunately for the House of Wolfblade, Lernen, interested only in perverse pleasures, cares nothing about ruling. Kagan, Lernen’s personal sorcerer, actually runs things and is doing his level best to keep Lernen from being murdered and thereby opening the throne to Bernardo, who may be even stupider than Lernen is disinterested. In Hythria, it’s every man for himself, every family for itself, though even brothers are wise not to trust one another.[…]
I read this after the Demon Child Trilogy as I didn’t know that it was actually a prequel to it. It didn’t matter much though – It wasn’t taking away from the story, but made me excited to read about characters I already got to know earlier.
As the name suggests, the trilogy follows the Wolfblade family, who rule Hythria. The focus in this novel is on young Marla Wolfblade who has to learn how to survive out there in a world where everyone is only looking out for themselves. As the heiress to a mighty nation, she’s the middle of attention as lords try to marry their sons off to her in order to gain more power or try to seduce her and make her a puppet. Marla has to grow up very quickly and learn to play the game of politics.
While Marla is the main character and we mostly read about her development and growth, there are a few other different perspectives to mix it up. I especially liked Wrayan, a sorcerer’s apprentice. Probably because he met up with one of my favourites from the Demon Child Trilogy. Anyways.. Marla is a great main character! I really liked her, as I could feel for her, understand her actions and she is a really well presented character! Her development throughout the book is just amazing!
The storyline is never boring but exciting and surprising. There are some unexpected twists & turns as for example, some major players die and villains who are responsible for that, get away with it. Lots of characters are shady and you can’t guess what sides they are really on.
What annoyed me a little was, that the action sometimes skips a few years. I would have liked to read about what happened during those years as well.
published in 2007
Damin Wolfblade, heir to the High Throne of Hythria, learns “the Rules of Gaining and Wielding Power” from the dwarf Elezaar at the insistence of his powerful mother, Marla, High Prince Lernen’s sister. The teenage Damin, along with his siblings, stepsiblings and various other young relatives, find themselves caught up in court intrigue and backstabbing schemes, not to mention an assassination plot or two. As Damin grows to manhood, he learns whom he should hold close, whom he should keep at a distance and just how much of his keen intelligence and political skills he needs to hide. Damin is indeed his mother’s son.
I liked this just as much as the first book! The style and build are the same – we follow the life of one member of the Wolfblade clan growing up. Only this time it is not Marla any more, but her oldest son Damin. Marla still appears, just like some other characters from the first book. Again, there is a lot of scheming, backstabbing and court shenanigans. I couldn’t help but love Damin. Just like his mum, he’s a great character and protagonist who has his good sides and bad sides. And he’s cocky. Very cocky! And a little arrogant.
I especially liked that we get one perspective by a person who is insane. This person thinks that his actions are perfectly fine because he kept convincing himself that he’s the sane one, although he apparently isn’t. Reminded me a lot of Poe’s characters.
While some things are unfortunately very predictable, like Luciena’s story, others are not and therefore I am not to mad at it.
What I didn’t like, again, is that the story skips 12 years(!) this time. I am not a big fan of doing this in the middle of a story. Especially when I enjoy reading it. It makes me stop reading and get used to it again. As if I start a new book but I don’t 😀