Remnants of Power

Are There Lesbians? Yes

What Happens?
Following the events of Remnants of Blood, Tannin is exiled from her home in the company of members of her past whom she barely remembers. As she comes into her warg powers she must also navigate stepping into her place as queen, if she can survive long enough to do so.

The Verdict:
Having enjoyed Remnants of Blood,  the first book in the series, I was delighted to receive an email asking if I (and, admittedly several others) would be interested in reviewing the second. I wasn’t disappointed. 

As much fun as the first novel was, the second really spreads its wings – the author and main character both coming into their own, and it was wonderful to see more of the world we were introduced to. It’s always a comforting feeling to come back to a world an author has created, and this was no exception. I realised I had missed the back and forth of Tannin and Ava’s relationship and Tannin’s camaraderie with Flint, and the introduction of new characters who fitted in just perfectly with the already established dynamics was a true delight. The combination of setting and a modern sense of wit and humour put me in mind of the Locked Tomb series, grounding the characters in a way that doesn’t always happen not only in fantasy but in novels in general. There is nothing worse than reading a sentence only to immediately think that no one actually talks like that. 

I found that every time I thought of an issue with the novel – the primary example being that Tannin was being touted as a leader but not actually displaying any leadership qualities nor being trained in such – the very next chapter would answer this, and not always in a way that I had anticipated. I do love not being able to anticipate where a story is headed, but at the same time it’s wonderful to have gut feelings vindicated. There is a fine balance between being unpredictable and being just predictable enough and Remnants of Power walks that line admirably. After all, one of the most enjoyable parts of genre fiction are the tropes and how they will be used or twisted to suit the story. 

The bloody battles and fights were a visceral delight to read. At first I was uncertain about a rule through fear, particularly as the monarchy in general is somewhat antithetical to my personal beliefs but then I remembered how much fun it is to read about someone in a fantasy novel brutally murdering all their enemies (who are always unequivocally evil of course) and so it was easy to put aside any initial qualms brought about by bloody and seeming unnecessary executions. This is, after all, a book about werewolves and if there wasn’t at least one dismemberment then I would be complaining about that instead. 

Even after all these years of reviewing I feel like there is still very much a push for queer media to be serious and representative and deal with meaningful issues – if it’s not a foreign language film about tragic gays then it’s not worth putting out into the public sphere. Remnants of Power is not that, rather it is something much more important. It is exciting and imaginative and most emphatically, it is fun. The role of fantasy is to be just that – fantasy and escape from the mundanity of everyday life, a moment to pause and dream of how things could be. I enjoyed reading Remnants of Power and as far as I’m concerned that’s the only thing that really means anything.

I received an ARC of Remnants of Power from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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