This is part of the blog tour for Traitor’s Hope, the new book from Virginia McClain. Much like myself, Virginia is a Jukepop Serials alumni who spun her webserial from that site off into a series of self-published novels.
She’s good people, always very supportive of the Hobson & Choi series and her books are reliably fun (here’s my Goodreads review of the first one if you like context) so I jumped at the chance to get involved with the sequel’s release. Let’s do this.
Traitor’s Hope – a short essay
Here, then, we return to the pseudo-Japanese world of Gensokai, where lifelong friends Taka and Mishi – the heroes from the first book – are discovering that keeping the peace might be almost as hard as winning the war. Like many second-books-in-series, there’s a greater focus on character-building here, a little willingness to let the people breathe and talk to each other rather than rushing headlong into the story.
It also provides a chance for more world-building and a greater sense of the wider universe, which helps contextualise some of the more out-there fantasy elements. The magic system remains one of the best parts, well integrated into the world, story and combat. But perhaps most importantly of all, it gives the author the chance to describe really cool stuff. One element that’s definitely remained consistent between books is McClain’s gift for a visceral action scene.
The characters other than Taka and Mishi also benefit a lot from the extra space, and supporting cast member Kusuko in particular gets a lot of interesting development – she’s probably the break-out character of the series, at this stage. Certainly, I know seeing what happens next to her is probably my biggest incentive to come back for the next one.
This second-book task of expanding on the world means the plot isn’t quite as propulsive as the first one, but I think that’s expected. It means that when the faeces hits the fan again – and it definitely will – we care all the more about what happens to the cast. Mishi’s worries over her violent nature become a little laboured over the course of the whole book, but if I had genuine reason to believe I might flip out and kill my friends at any moment, I’d probably worry about it a lot too.
In short – a strong continuation to a good series. Builds upon the strength of Blade’s Edge, makes the world of Gensokai deeper and more interesting and keeps the characters moving forward. I’ll definitely be back for book three.
Hot Chunky Information
Want to know more about the book and/or blog tour? Here’s all the words you could possibly need, or click here to go to the website of the company running it.
About the Book:
Title: TRAITOR’S HOPE (Blade’s Edge #2)
Author: Virginia McClain
Pub. Date: October 14, 2017
Publisher: Artemis Dingo Productions
Formats: Paperback eBook
Find it: Amazon, Buy The Paperback, Goodreads
Traitors lurk around every bend. Mishi’s mind is betraying her, and she fears her kisō and katana will betray her next. Taka’s heart abandons her for a person she cannot possibly trust. Now that the two friends are obliged to help re-establish peace in the land of Gensokai, the only question is where the next betrayal will come from and if Mishi and Taka will have the strength to survive it.
Virginia thinks dangling from the tops of hundred foot cliffs is a good time. She also enjoys hauling a fifty pound backpack all over the Grand Canyon and sleeping under the stars. Sometimes she likes running for miles through the desert, mountains, or wooded flatlands, and she always loves getting lost in new places where she may or may not speak the language.
From surviving earthquakes in Japan, to putting out a small forest fire in Montana, Virginia has been collecting stories from a very young age. She works hard to make her fiction as adventurous as her life and her life as adventurous as her fiction. Both take a lot of imagination.
She recently moved to Winnipeg with her husband (a Manitoba native) and their dog.
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