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Death by Books

Like you (I assume) I like books. I used to read fantasy exclusively, but these days I've branched out to pick up the occasional mystery, YA or steampunk novel. I also love to read about the art of writing and use that to improve my skills in my own work.
Ashes of a Black Frost - Chris  Evans The main attraction I have to this series is the different technology level it has to normal fantasy fare. Black powder is in common use among the soldiers, so they have muskets and cannon.

A handful of the characters are fun and interesting, namely the Queen's scribe, Rallie, a cigar smoking old bat, who knows way more than she will say, and is quite probably the most powerful person in the series, and Yimt, a dwarven (never thought I'd see the day I like a dwarf) soldier who is constantly getting promoted for bravery and then knocked back down to private for insubordination. There's a handful of others that are appealing - the main character though is not one of them. I find Major Swift Dragon annoying at best, and flat out dangerous as a leader. His love interest is slightly less aggravating, but fairly forgettable personality-wise.

The writing is competent if not a bit repetitive. Toward the end there are a few scenes that appear to have been rewritten with information from previous chapters forgotten in the process. For example, Jir, the Major's cat/dog/critter companion, gets blown from the docks, onto the boat where the Major is, and yet a couple pages later the Major is worrying about what happened to Jir and fearful that he won't see him again. Then later when they get off the ship, and a large bird shows up to drop off the Major's girlfriend, Jir suddenly shows up again, and it reads as if he arrived with the bird also. There's a few other oddball moments like this in the last quarter of the book.

I give the book (and series - this being the third and final volume in the series) three stars for being different, and for the interesting support characters. I deducted two stars for the annoying main character, the consistency issues, and the rather lackluster ending.