Stormsong by C.L. Polk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I missed the first book of this series, Witchmark, and I think it hurt my reading of this book. Stormsong evidently begins immediately after the events of the first, and the reader is thrown into the pool of plot, relationships, worldbuilding and characters and left to sink or swim, with practically no explanation of what is going on. I managed to piece most of it together as I read, but it amounted to a lot more work.
That said, I don't know if I would have rated this outstanding even if I had read Witchmark. I liked it, and it is competently written, but it lacked the depth of characterization and worldbuilding I prefer. (And, y'know, the Amaranthines--they're definitely elves, which the author doesn't seem to want to say for some reason. Maybe she didn't think that would mix with the sort of Victorian early industrial revolution worldbuilding of the rest of the book? [Although Amazon's Carnival Row, as messy as that series was, would seem to prove that idea wrong.] Anyway, those two elements weren't a very good fit, as far as I was concerned.) The book also ends with nothing being resolved and the main plot threads still dangling in the air. Which would have been maddening if I was inclined to read the third book, but I'm not sure I am.
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