>> Wednesday, June 25, 2014
TITLE: The Kraken King Part 6: The Kraken King and the Crumbling Wall
AUTHOR: Meljean Brook
SETTING: Steampunk version of the 19th century
TYPE: Adventure romance
SERIES: Sixth part of 4th full length book in the Iron Seas series
Reunited, Ariq and Zenobia must journey over the red wall and make a desperate appeal to the one woman with enough power to halt the marauders’ plans—the Empress of Nippon.
But even the Kraken King cannot demand the attentions of an empress. Masked and quarantined, Ariq and Zenobia are forced to bide their time. Despite the fact that they are as physically close as two people can be, Zenobia is trying to keep the man she can’t help but love at a distance, terrified she’ll be hurt again. And all the while, the mysteries of the Living City grow around them…
Link to my review of Part 1
Link to my review of Part 2
Link to my review of Part 3
Link to my review of Part 4
Link to my review of Part 5
I'm assuming that if you're reading this, you've read the first 5 parts (but not necessarily this part, so no spoilers for that here).
Aaand, we're back to the Red City. Ariq and Zenobia's only option to stop the destruction of Ariq's village is to appeal to the Empress. It's easier said than done, though, as access to the Empress must be carefully negotiated.
This is an installment that, on the plot side, works mainly to set things up for what I'm assuming will be the grand finale. Not a great deal actually happens, beyond Ariq and Zenobia arriving back to the embassy from which they were kidnapped, and moving into the Quarantine zone. Plans are made, and the first bits begin to be executed. It's not boring, though, because it all serves to ratchet up the tension. It's clear things aren't going to be easy, and the presence of the Empress' Eyes (mechanical devices in each room, which must be kept wound up) create a sense of danger, of something unknown that's not quite right and can (probably will) go wrong in the near future.
The lack of vertiginous action gives Ariq and Zenobia time and space to move their relationship forward (if you know what I mean!) and those were some lovely scenes. Still, Ariq continues to need Zenobia to marry him, just as he has married her, so there's a way to go there and major emotional developments at stake. Good, because much as I'm enjoying the plot here, I prefer it when neither plot nor romance are resolved until the end.
Bring on the last 2 parts!