Keeper of the Keys by Janny Wurts

Didn’t hold my interest as much as the first book.

This starts off immediately after the events of the first one. Jaric and Taen have recovered the keys but Jaric is still trying everything he can possible think of to not do the cycle of fire and become like his father. What follows are these attempts to deny his fate, all the while Shadowfane are upping their attempts to either kill him or turn him.

I struggled with this book. Half the story is set on ships and the amount of sailing jargon thrown at you is numbing. I like stories set on the sea but I think this was basically too realistic. Unless you know about sailing most of the language and terminology is going to fly over your head and so I felt my eyes and mind glaze over more than once. On top of this not a lot happens. They basically sail a bunch of places, a bit of knowledge is found, some mysteries are revealed but that’s it. Yes there is character growth etc but I don’t think we needed a whole book sailing places for it.

It didn’t help that Jaric is basically insufferable for most of it. Honestly I actually grew to dislike him over parts of it, the arrogance and stubbornness was very off putting and caused so many other people grief, my sympathy for him was erased. I also think it missed Emien as he didn’t really feature much in it. Taen is a good character but is pretty bland and so didn’t interest me as much here, especially due to her circumstances for the majority of the book.

This is a relatively short book (for fantasy) at three hundred pages but honestly could have been cut by a third at least. There is enough here to want me to continue as I think the selfish self pity phase of Jaric is finally over, and we can get moving towards more significant events. After what I thought was a great opener, this middle volume fell very flat.

2.5 stars rounded up.

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