Transgressions of Power

Juliette Wade. DAW, $27 (480p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1576-1
Wade disappoints with the predictable and needlessly complicated second installment to the Broken Trust series (after Mazes of Power), set in a world that combines an elaborate caste system, a medieval atmosphere, and modern elements including therapists and anti-vaxxers. With a cast that takes over five pages to list, newcomers will likely be at sea, as Wade jumps directly into the action, opening with some staple epic fantasy tropes—an assassination attempt and the ensuing power struggle—before tossing in subplots about incest and a surprise paternity reveal that feel more clichéd than shocking. The central thread features Adon of the First Family, who is almost killed by a hired gun on the eve of his 13th birthday for reasons that are not immediately obvious but may connect to the heir selection process. While suspicion points to a rival clan, unsurprisingly, evidence surfaces that Adon’s foe is closer to home. The plot feels familiar and the pace drags. Fans of the first volume will enjoy revisiting the city of Pelismara, but will hope for a return to form in the next outing. Agent: Kristopher O’Higgins, Scribe Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/16/2020
Release date: 02/23/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
MP3 CD - 978-1-7997-1852-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-7997-1851-2
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