Dec. 24th, 2011

melita66: (raven)
I am so happy that P.C. Hodgell (now that she's retired) has been able to pick up and continue her Kencyr series with some regularity. The Kencyr series has gone through several publishers over the years and currently released by Baen who seem to be willing to publish fan-favorites that don't quite work at other publishers. The latest book is Honor's Paradox and finishes Jame's tenure at the war college, Tentir.

Jame is a member of the Highborn. The Kencyr are composed of the Highborn, the Kendar (everyone else), and the Arrin-Ken, a different race that functions as judges. Due to events in the past, the Arrin-Ken are least in sight. The Kencyr were brought together to battle Perimal Darkling, who's destroying creation, one world at a time. The Kencyr try to fight but have been waging a holding battle only, with defeats sending them on to the next world. Their current location is Rathillien, and there's a lot of interaction in this and the previous book with the world's own deities and supernatural creatures.

The Kencyr have a prophecy that 3 related people will come and lead the final battle against Perimal Darkling. Jame believes she may be one of them, and based on the chaos that usually follows in her wake, that of Destruction. Her twin brother (who's actually 10 years older) may represent Creation and a new-found relative, Kindrie, who's a healer, Preservation. Meanwhile, she's also a Shanir, one of the old blood, with certain mystical powers, and retractable claws on her hands. Many Highborn don't trust the Shanir even as they make use of them.

Her brother, Torisen, who's leader of the Kencyr is trying to find a place for Jame in the society (she's only recently returned to the Kencyr) so in the previous books she's spent time in the Women's World (Highborn women are generally cloistered) and discovered a lot of long-hidden secrets and burned half the place down. Now she's at the war college where female Kendar attend regularly, but never a female Highborn. A talented fighter on foot with only her built-in weapons and strategist, or is that tactician, she's managed to won over many people, but perhaps not enough to actually graduate...

Jame is a neat character. She's brash and forthright, often competent, but leaves chaos in her wake. That's different from most uber-competent characters and it's a lot of fun watching her dance between disasters.

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