It looks like Wyrd & Wonder month is turning into a binge of the Harbinger series by Jeff Wheeler. They are quick reads thankfully because I am dying to jump into Deadhouse Gates because yes, Malazan is life now LOL.
Iron Garland is the first book I have blogged this month that is eligible for the Wyrd & Wonder bingo board, so…. I am using it for the prompt “Don’t leave the path”. While it’s not in a woodland connotation, the first reason is that the world of Lockhaven and high society is so strict in societal norms for women that a single misstep in a dance, a single breach of propriety, crossing the wrong person, any small thing can derail a woman’s prospects. Stay on that path! The second “path” is that of the Mastons. There is a very different set of beliefs and guidelines for Mastons (think like religious norms with divine guidance) that also set a strict path for these people. While the Knowing won’t abandon people for making mistakes and learning from them, it gets harder and harder to get back on the right path after straying due to the way society and debt is structured, plus the influence of the Myriad ones.
Now that I’ve talked about the prompt, let’s briefly talk about the book! Spoiler free of course. My reviews for the series so far are linked at the bottom!
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Iron Garland
- Series: Harbinger #3
- Author: Jeff Wheeler
- Publisher & Release: 47 North – November 2018
- Length: 353 pages
- Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 absolutely keep the series going
Here’s the synopsis via GoodReads:
For three years, Sera Fitzempress has been a pawn in a gilded prison—the floating manor of Pavenham Sky. Disgraced and exiled from society, she has been isolated from the downtrodden she’s determined to liberate. But although Sera may seem subservient on the outside, the stubborn princess has only become emboldened.
Now in charge of her family’s estate, Cettie Pratt has grown into an independent young woman, although she continues to be tested by the high society of the clouds. Advancing in the magic of the Mysteries, Cettie is also a useful tool of defense during turbulent times. However, as more of Cettie’s mysterious past comes to light, her greatest challenge may be a reckless stranger with a dark secret.
The fog of war is drawing in, and with it comes a startling new enemy who may unravel secrets that both women would prefer stay hidden. But their secrets may be the only way to stop the coming darkness…
Ok I know I didn’t love Mirror Gate so much but Wheeler brings all the stops out in Iron Garland.
Wheeler assumes now that we are familiar enough with both the Harbinger and Kingfountain worlds to drop all pretenses and world building fluff and tell the story.
Sera absolutely shines in this one. It is the growth and power I have been waiting for from her! Three years have passed since she was figuratively imprisoned at Pavenham Sky, and as much as we hate to admit it, Lady Corinne gave her the tools she needed to succeed at court. I was thrilled to see Sera at Kingfountain and I think Prince Trevon will be interesting going forward as well.
One exciting thing is that Wheeler tells us something about an old Kingfountain legend – the Maid of Donremy – that I won’t share for spoiler alerts but it brings the entire war of hard feelings into perspective and raises a lot of thoughts too.
Cettie is powerful as well in this novel and I am both happy and sad for her. I think we all knew by now that Cettie was to be the Harbinger, that’s not a spoiler, and it was joyful to see her stand up to her adopted siblings and come into her own as Keeper of Fog Willows. Towards the end though, was she losing her mind? It is entirely out of character for Cettie to ignore a prized possession going missing and someone clearly meddling with her business items. There is absolutely no way she wouldn’t have confronted anyone about this or pursued it until she had answers, I just don’t believe it.
Action wise – the book opens with a ghastly murder, contains the end of a war, a hunt for a Fear Liath, and some absolutely stunning duplicity towards the end. The cliffhanger is as equally alarming as the beginning and the book hardly slows down in between. This is what I expect from Wheeler, nothing less at this point!
Lastly I should mention the new residents of Gimmerton Sough, the manor next to Fog Willows – I can’t say too much but the foreshadowing throughout the early part of the novel is obvious and real. You don’t know exactly what the foreshadowing is pointing to but you know to be very, very alert for issues and when they start popping up, oh my 😭 I am so worried for my Fitzroy siblings that I’m going to start Prism Cloud today
Can you think of any books where characters must stay on a literal or figurative path??
The Harbinger Series:
- Storm Glass
- Mirror Gate
- Iron Garland