Stormsong by C.L. Polk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I admit I was super thrilled to get ahold of this after enjoying Witchmark so much. As a beautifully written fantasy/intrigue/romance with all the hallmarks of a late King George's England, (Aleland, that is,) it was super stiff-upper-lipped, bursting with repressed emotion, and it ended on a VERY strong magical note.
This sequel, however, has a very different tone. Yes, if you're looking for an F/F romance to match the M/M romance of the first, I'm sure you'll enjoy it... eventually... but the majority of the tale is political. A storm, to be combatted by magic, leads to major societal complications. The revelations regarding the people who were ill-used in the past (read: magical underclass,) must be addressed or some major upheavals will tear the nation apart.
It took me a while to get into the book. All the politics looks good on the surface but it didn't do all that much for my attention span for a long time. It was only when the reporter came snooping around when I finally got invested. It just took so much time...
I did enjoy the rest of the tale. It picked up some. But it still remained a mild political thriller with a few late action scenes. Not bad, but not nearly as good as the first book. The high point was the romance angle. The politics, which overtook the grand majority of the novel, was merely okay. I like seeing underclasses get rights and such, but when it comes to regular enjoyment in reading, it seemed ready-made to cater to modern political leanings.
LGBT communities, mainly, written as the magical downtrodden, made more vibrant with a vital romance.
Something is bothering me, though. The politicization of gender orientation never seemed to be that big a deal to me before. It's one thing to get equal rights, but it's another to actively repress those who don't identify with the same. This book is mostly about politicization. It kinda kicked me out of the characters and reduced my enjoyment of THEIR tale. I didn't have that problem in Witchmark.
Still, not bad, all told.
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