My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Review: Labyrinth's Heart

Labyrinth's Heart Labyrinth's Heart by M.A. Carrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third book of the Rook & Rose Trilogy that began with the Mask of Mirrors ...

Previous Review of The Mask of Mirrors
Previous Review of The Liar's Knot

The book opens with a review of “The Story So Far” which is fantastic since it has actually been awhile since I read the last book and the world is so complex that it is easy to forget some of the details. And so we pick up the story with Ren, Grey and Vargo trying to figure out how to safely disposed of the medallions that have the power to restore the tyrant’s rule when united and corrupt the holder (and potentially curse the clan/family of that holder) … and the one person who could unravel Ren’s entire deception returns to House Traementis. Of course, no plan survives … well you know. In this case, the return to the city of Ren’s “mother” complicates everything as she threatens to reveal Ren’s secret to her ruination. While that simmers, Ren and friends hatch a plan to ship her and Grey despite their disparate stations. 

Despite all those spinning plates, the book gets off to a slow start as everything settles into a somewhat predictable story. Unfortunately most of the world building is done by now and the story has a little trouble holding my interest with just the characters (with the promise of a conclusion the primary motivation that pulls me through the first half) … and that makes it fairly easy to put down between chapters (so not a quick read). About halfway the pace picks up and the book is once again hard to put down as the story makes good progress to a very satisfying conclusion (with enough surprises and twists to keep the plot fun and the world interesting).

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#LabyrinthsHeart #Rook&Rose #NetGalley

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.