Archive for December 15th, 2010

Valery Leith – The Riddled Night

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

It is always nice to discover an unknown writer (at least to me and gone unnoticed over the years that I’ve been reading) and to enjoy the book very much. This is the case for the Everien-Trilogy by Valery Leith. I already gave a positive review for the first book, but the second book, The Riddled Night (2000), I liked even more.
The first book, The Company of Glass, provided us with a number of mysteries and several main characters who went through a number of ordeals. In The Riddled Night some of the mysteries are resolved for the main part while some new ones are added.

Besides the main characters the viewpoints of a number of side characters are followed, of which some from the previous books now remain on the background and do not play an active role anymore. To me this was somewhat unusual as most authors keep the view points they made already have used. The number of viewpoints also increased to show more sides in the events of the story. The downside of this choice was that the pace of the story slowed down while you would not see some characters for quite a while. Even so, events happen (relatively) quickly and thus prevent the slower pace to be a bit more boring.

Even with so many viewpoints there was still plenty of space for character development, quite more than in the first book. This surely made the book stronger.

The title of the book is also aptedly named, as the mysteries that are unfolding in the book become more complex. I actually had some trouble keeping it all together. I had the idea I missed some things that were mentioned later. This was not bothersome, but it did cast some doubt on possibly having missed parts. Nevertheless the mysteries are well crafted and I enjoyed discovering how they expanded and unfolded. If I truly missed something then I hope to find out when I reread the series. I already know that in a number of years I will pick it up again.

The Everien-series has drifted far from the mainstream. Although it has taken up a number of typical fantasy tropes (I won’t name them as that would be spoiling and they are actually unexpected at the beginning of the book) it deals with them in an original way. This second book is quite better than the first and does not feel like a typical middle book. It stands on it’s own with a certain opening and closure that will not feel like having had to read much before. I am very interested in the final book. This one is very much recommended.