June 27, 2012

Review: Traitor's Son

Book Cover Book Two of the Raven Duet
By Hilari Bell
Available now from Houghton Mifflin
Review copy
Read my review of TRICKSTER'S GIRL and my interview of Hilari Bell

TRAITOR'S SON is more satisfying than its predecessor TRICKSTER'S GIRL.  A great deal of that has to do with the ending.  TRICKSTER'S GIRL ended abruptly in order to set up the change of narrator in TRAITOR'S SON.  But the second book is the end of the duology so both the character arc and the quest arc come to a close.  (Sadly, we learn nothing about Kelsa aside from the fact that she gets arrested.)

One problem I had with the first book is directly addressed.  I thought it was strange that Kelsa's attraction to Raven was so emphasized when clearly no romance would be happening.  Jase is also attracted to Raven, who now takes a female form, and confronts her about trying to seduce him in order to convince him to help heal the ley lines.  Raven admits to her ploy.

The Raven Duet is about Raven's quest to save humanity.  Ley lines in all worlds are becoming polluted due to humans and some powerful beings want to let the human world implode.  Kelsa and now Jase's quest is to use human means to heal a single ley line and prove that humans can fix their mistakes.  Raven's enemies are not above using deadly force to prevent their success.

Jase is three-sixteenths Native American which is not enough to inherit tribal property.  His dad is a prominent lawyer who sued the tribes over the property laws and caused a rift in the Alaskan Native community.  It's made Jase something of an outcast whose only comfort is his vintage car.  When Raven comes along, drawn by the medicine bag Kelsa passed to him, he thinks she's nuts.  But soon he is helping her and trying to reconcile his relationship to his father with his relationship to his grandfather.

This time the magic takes a little more effort.  Jase needs a lesson after the first try fails.  He's inherited the ability to Spirit Walk, which puts him at extra risk from Raven's enemies.  They can easily find and hurt him in his sleep - and he can't touch them.

I think you can read TRAITOR'S SON without reading TRICKSTER'S GIRL first.  If you like tales of quests, then this novel will probably entertain you.

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