Review of Wolf's-own, Book Three: Koan

by Cole Riann @ The Armchair Reader

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Rating: Me Like (4.5 stars)

**Review contains spoilers for the first two books**

REVIEW

It is a bit difficult to review this book. As one half of the second part of the series, it really is like a beginning, but without all the needed character and world building required in the very beginning. I think if I had reviewed the first book, Ghost, on itís own then it may have gotten this same rating. I certainly really like them, but itís hard to get the whole picture. I suppose thatís really what can be said about this story ó itís all the same characters and a similar situation in some ways, but itís also very different in others, and even though there is an overall arc between all four books, the questions are still there and there is much left to still be resolved. Though Iím looking forward to it!

Koan starts out soon after the end of Weregild. The whole group (Fen, Malick, Samin, Shig, Joori, and Morin) have moved to Tambalon, a country across a sea from Ada. There is some reason that Malick is taking them there, other than to get away from the overwhelming change they left behind them, but he isnít talking. Soon, he is being hounded by numerous Temshiel and maijin of the capital city, the birthplace of the gods and a place that still sits side by side with an older magic, from the time before the six gods. It seems that the cloak of Untouchable Fen was shrouded in hasnít left him after all, and the fateful choices they made in Ada have seen their path even further to a new destination, and possibly an even more dangerous and dire one. The problem is that Fen is almost completely catatonic. With everything heís been through, heís still the Ghost that Asai made him and heís finding it impossible to shed that role. Seeing ghosts himself, and burrowing ever father into madness, heís almost given away complete control of his own fate, which all of the factions of Tambalon are all to happy to decide for him.

As the next to last book of a fantasy series, Koan does follow some natural laws. In order to make it to the end, Fen is going to have to take up his own counsel and will and fight, but he canít do that with so many people telling him what to do, even if what they want is what is best for him. Besides, Fen canít tell much of what is going on anyway, most of the time he doesnít trust his own perceptions of the world around him. And then one more terrible thing, a huge loss to him. Malickís character is interesting in this book. After his choices in Weregild, choosing to put Fen above himself in every way, his feelings for Fen sometimes blind him. Still, Malick seems to be able to make it through anything, all with a smirk on his face, so his actions and his fate in this book really brings all of the other characterís feelings for him in focus. Also, with this breaking up of the main group of characters and allies other characters get to take on more responsibility which allows their characters to step forward a bit. We see poor Samin with the weight of the world on his shoulders but I never lose faith that heíll fail in any way. Shig, without Yori to temper her, has had to muddle through her grief and the loss of her connection to spirit alone. She can no longer remain the aloof one that sometimes contributes wisdom through sight, but learn to trust herself and show that she does have contributions to make. I really started to like and understand Shig in this book, in a way I hadnít before.

There are lots of new characters, of course, mostly Temshiel and maijin, and some banpair. I liked getting to see a larger group of these, to see how different they are and how they all worship, interact, and take direction from their different gods. The majority of the characters in this series keep their own intentions and counsel, however, so it will be interesting to see where they all fall in the end.

Iím definitely loving this series, and I canít wait to find out what happens in Incendiary!

 

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