Redd Becker Book Review
The Immortal Throne by Stella Gemmell portrays a saga of war. As in war, a plethora of characters with conflicting perspectives vie for attention. Gemmell moves in and out of point-of-view in order to connect the reader with the complexities of her characters. The emotional connection with them, however, was not strong for me. I would like more reason to care, besides the complexities of war.
That said, Gemmell’s settings and plot development reflect her strengths as a writer, which are lofty accomplishments. The settings in The Immortal Throne cover a kingdom/city and its environs, but it’s difficult at times to envision the immensity of it through all the details. Regardless, it’s clear the author envisions the settings completely. Her descriptions leave little doubt. If you’ve read my reviews, you know I’m not a fan of books based on setting, but I often read them, because buried within the plethora of descriptions are interesting characters, concepts and plots.
Gemmell Works her Plots
Gemmell doesn’t let you down with plot. She works it like an intricate pattern of lace. Characters find themselves facing a broad array of challenges. Moles, traitors, double spies. Even the innocent play their part. Greed, loyalty, mythic faith and love bind and drive characters to the end, when Gemmell reveals all. It’s then readers realize the most hidden motives behind the ‘Immortals’.
The final chapter brings the Immortal’s history to light, however, justifications for their actions felt trite and the explanations weren’t required. They added little to the overall story. The message that ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely‘ came to life through the Immortal’s actions in the saga. No further explanation was needed.
As a reader, my interest lay in Rubin. The youth opens the story and plays a pivotal role throughout. He ultimately stands as a sort of sentinel at the end.
As with war, most characters came through as pawns of the plot, not drivers of it, but by the end, Gemmell ties up each character’s life. Readers are not left wondering about anyone.
Perhaps a Sequel from Stella Gemmell
The Immortal Throne could have been broken into two books. At 547 pages it is a tome, but new characters and aspects of the city’s complex history and war are introduced so frequently readers remain engaged. The Immortal Throne is the second of a series that could go on indefinitely. For a review of The City check out the foundingfields.com.The Immortal Throne (The City, #2) by Stella Gemmell
Series: The City #2
Published by Bantam Press on March 24th 2016
The emperor is dead…long live the emperor! The fervent hope of the victorious rebels and the survivors of the uprising that liberated the City from tyranny is that the accession of Archange to the imperial throne will usher in a new era of freedom, peace and stability. If only that were so... As the the City struggles to return to something resembling normal life after the devastation brought on by the rebellion, word arises of a massive army gathering to the north. No one knows where it has come from or who leads it, but it soon becomes apparent that its sole purpose is to destroy the City and annihilate all - man, woman and child - who live within its battered walls. And while warriors go forth to fight and die on the battlefield in defence of their homeland and all that they believe in, bitter family feuds and ancient rivalries, political and personal betrayals, and mindless murder surface within the palaces and corridors of power: it seems the City is under siege - from both without and within . . . With this new novel, Stella Gemmell brings the astonishing story of the City to a spectacular climax and confirms her place as a master of the genre.