Mags is still kirball-mad and looking for knowledge about his family history. He seems content with the life he has though, and the work he does for the King’s Own is enthralling. He never seems to keep up with his classwork though, and it seems like he never will – the closer he gets to being caught up, the more trouble he gets into.
Once again, this was not the end of the chronicles. There didn’t seem to be much meatiness to the plot – this book and the third could have easily been combined to give me a more satisfying read. I did finish this novel off in one sitting, but there was hardly anything there to read, so it was more a reflection of the short length than grippable qualities.
Large sections of the novel are of Mags nightmares – but these aren’t new, it’s basically a rehash of the second and third books. The stuff about the shop, which would normally be a highlight for me, was not included in enough detail. It wasn’t really clear why they needed to rush Mags into Whites either – if he doesn’t know enough, shouldn’t he be doing what he does best at a slower rate?
I’d love to have seen more of Amily’s recovery and that whole section that happened between the third and fourth books. Instead we get Bear’s showdown with his fatehr – which is actually pretty good, and almost worth all the other wading through of poor scenes.
Lackey seems to be taking pleasure in using Mags’ language quirks to avoid writing meaningful dialogue. The same goes for the kirball action and the handy foray into Karse. Some of that space about dreams could have been sued to write about the Karse countryside, which would have been super interesting for me – I could never get enough of this in the short stories about Karse.
The romance between Amily and Mags is also pathetic. Sure, Mags doesn’t know how to act around girls, but to go to the point he’s going to ask actors about it? Surely Amily has a bit more spine in her and could be induced to make the first moves instead of Mags. The work they do together at the wedding is nice, but not that exciting.
I didn’t feel any unhappiness or worry when Mags was kidnapped. To me it was obvious that he would escape one way or the other. It wasn’t like he was going to starve in Karse. The constant reminders that he hadn’t gotten that far in his classes at the Collegium were annoying and not really helpful. If he was really doing so badly, he wouldn’t have found so much food that was there! And the nice convenient seasons too…
I let this review sit for a bit to see if my rather strong negative feeling would abate. They didn’t – I still felt cheated, and like I would have rather this was a well-cut trilogy rather than a drawn out set of Chronicles that I don’t even know when they will end! So bad that I would consider just reading a summary of the next one if it’s not the final one and the Amazon reviews say it is still bad.
I think I found myself very disappointed in Redoubt. I was hoping for more depth, more substance, more everything. If the next book published is not the last one in the series, I think I’ll just wait until they are all out before reading it to avoid another disappointment. I felt like nothing happened! At least I only borrowed it from the library, although I will eventually buy it in paperback for the completeness of my collection.
I will probably read something else I know I love from Lackey to reassure myself that she’s still my favourite author – although at this point it looks like she might be bumped for someone who has been more consistant (although just as annoying with her way of releasing novels – Isobelle Carmody). I have ‘Home By the Sea’ waiting for me to read it as well, but I’ve seen some negative reviews of it as well and I’m afraid!