Druid’s Sword: Ugh!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Troy Game Druid's Sword Sara DouglassDruid’s Sword by Sara Douglass

I’ve been following this series for years, reading each new book avidly as the storyline and the relationships became deeper, richer, more complicated. I couldn’t wait to see what sort of denouement Sara Douglass had in store for The Troy Game.
I was particularly interested in what would become of Cornelia/Caela/Noah and her troubled bond with Brutus. I would have been satisfied with either of two possible endings:

(a) A redeemed Brutus asks Cornelia for forgiveness, and she forgives him.

(b) Brutus asks Cornelia for forgiveness, and she smacks him upside the head.

Instead, what do I get? Well, it’s a spoiler, so if you want to read it, please highlight this hidden text:

(c) Brutus decides he’s “tired” of loving Cornelia and “can’t be bothered” with it anymore, and falls head over heels for HER DAUGHTER.

So let me see if I have this straight. If you rape, abuse, and ignore your wife, then proceed to judge and condemn her for the next few lives for the horrible sin of being human, your reward is a younger, prettier version of her who doesn’t carry the baggage of your lives together. (Yes, Grace has troubles as well, but hers only serve to show what a Noble, Virtuous, Tragic Heroine she is.) Along the way, the Jack/Grace romance is also used to cheapen the hard-won bond between Cornelia and Asterion.[END SPOILER]

The plot plods as well; it seems to consist of umpteen characters sitting around talking about how they’ve all been brought back together and hemming and hawing about what to do. I did sort of like the ending, but it was too little, too late, and with [highlight spoiler:] the wrong heroine [END SPOILER].

The Troy Game — (2002-2006) Historical Fantasy.  Publisher: Ancient Greece is a place where mortals are the playthings of the gods-but at the core of each mortal city-state is a Labyrinth, where the mortals can shape the heavens to their own design. When Theseus comes away from the Labyrinth with the prize of freedom and his beloved Ariadne, the Mistress of the Labyrinth, his future seems assured. But she bears him only a daughter-and when he casts her aside for this, the world seems to change. From that day forward, the Labyrinths decay, and power fades from the city-states. A hundred years pass, Troy falls, the Trojans scatter. Then Brutus, the warrior-king of Troy, receives a vision of distant shores where he can rebuild the ancient kingdom. He will move heaven and earth to reach his destiny. But in the mists is a woman of power, a descendent of Ariadne, who has her own reasons for luring Brutus to this lush land. Her heart is filled with a generations-old hatred, and her vengeance on him will not be thwarted. If Brutus makes the journey successfully, it will be the next step in the Game of the Labyrinth, and the beginning of a complicated contest of wills that will last for centuries…

Sara Douglass The Troy Game: Hades' Daughter, Gods' Concubine, Darkwitch Rising, Druid's SwordSara Douglass The Troy Game: Hades' Daughter, Gods' Concubine, Darkwitch Rising, Druid's SwordSara Douglass The Troy Game: Hades' Daughter, Gods' Concubine, Darkwitch Rising, Druid's SwordSara Douglass The Troy Game: Hades' Daughter, Gods' Concubine, Darkwitch Rising, Druid's Sword

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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One comment

  1. Janine /

    I could not agree more! After years and years, I finally finished Druid’s Sword today. I was left empty. [SPOILERS] Half of me couldn’t decide if I *wanted* Grace to stay trapped, because pushing aside Noah for Grace–and condemning Noah’s powers, desires, motherhood, and love at every possible chance in the process–made me dislike Grace. The Jack/Grace romance felt wrong the whole time, especially after so much was made in Gods’ Concubine of Eaving and Ringwalker’s destiny for each other. Not closing out that romance felt like the series had built up this facade for no reason, and felt unfulfilling. Also–there’s a teaser about the White Queen finally being free if Catling was trapped that was not realized. I was so sure that Cornelia’s vision of the Stone Hall was finally going to come true and she was going to have her daughter back for real. That would have been at least a semi-satisfying ending even if she didn’t have Jack, but once again, Cornelia/Noah/Eaving gets left with nothing. It feels so wrong. I came on and searched for reviews as soon as I finished because I wanted to see if anyone else felt like me or if I’m off my rocker. So glad to see I’m not alone.

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