This book has a most excellent opening! I think I was the most impressed with the beginning, which is not to say I didn't like the rest of it too 'cos I did, but it just opens very strongly.
Things got a little meandering through the middle, but I enjoyed this and read it in a couple quick gulps -- it's a neat story. I liked seeing where Claidi's lack of worldliness tripped her up, and in which of those places I'd have been tripped up too. Good characters and a very interesting setting -- I'll be keeping a look out for the rest of this trilogy! :) I've often found myself a bit disappointed with Tanith Lee when I've tried her stuff before -- I keep wanting to like her but found her a little too....overhyped and archetype-y -- so I was even more happy this one turned out to be a find!
This book is a wonderful read. It is very much like reading the diary of someone who enjoys writing in it.
Claidi does not know who her parents are and was raised as a maid, so when she is told she is a princess and is asked to save a man from an unknown fate at the hands of the House she jumps at it. Off into the unknown she runs with this man whom she can not decide if she loves or hates. Through all of their adventures however, she sticks with him and he delivers her to the Wolf Tower and a woman who is called the Wolf's Paw.
This was a fast-paced, exciting read. I loved the journal format and the voice of the main character, and liked the distinctness of the other characters. The plot twist near the end was a bit of a shock, and I hope to read the next book in the series.
I'm kind of sitting here like, what really was it about this book. The story was pretty interesting, but it was just beyond the type of believable that makes good fantasy, even YA. I liked Claidi and the rest of the characters, but her problems never seemed life threatening enough. I mean, we have some obvious betrayal and a kind of out of the blue romance, since the second wasn't set up all that well in my opinion, even if it was really, glaringly obvious. Maybe the obviousness of everything was kind of annoying. Also, she never questions why he would need to go so out of his way just to apparently bring back a wife, which was kind of what it seemed at first when he started being ADAMANT about her coming with him. I understand being blinded by love, especially first love but . . . The ending was also really ridiculous. I part of me wants to believe it but it seemed too fabricated for me.
Anyway, the book was still cute and I do want to read the next books.
Book 1 in the Claidi Journals. Orphan-slave Claidi knows only the mindless rituals and cruelties of the House and the Garden, where the ruling families wallow in lavish extravagance. Then a golden stranger promises freedom if she will journey with him through the savage Waste.
Mad tribes and strange cities, enemies and friends where she least expects them, above all the Wolf Tower that broods over the grim stone city of her destiny; nothing - and no one - is as it seems.
If she is to survive, Claidi must learn fast - hone her wits, sharpen her instinct for danger...
Freedom demands that she confront the Law - once and for all
It's been awhile since I've read these books. I do remember liking the first couple of books, but after that, they kept getting weirder and weirder. I ended up hating the series and getting rid of the books.
All her life, sixteen-year-old Claidi has endured hardship in the House, where she must obey a spoiled princess and observe countless empty rituals. Yet she can't imagine another existance...until a golden stranger arrives, living proof of a world beyond the House walls. To Claidi, he offers precious hope. She risks all to free the charming prisoner and accompanies him across the Waste toward his faraway home. It is a difficult yet marvelous journey, and all the while Claidi is at the side of a man she could come to love. That is, until they reach his home... and the Wolf Tower