Thursday, December 8, 2016

I Read A Book: "The Tattooed Duchess" by Victor Gischler

I Read A Book: The Tattooed Duchess, 2015, 9781503948228.

The second novel in Gischler's fantasy trilogy, A Fire Beneath the Skin. You need not read the first novel because Gischler fills things in as needed and starts a new story in this one.

The novel has the standard fantasy setting: horses and swords, castles and armies. Gischler's twist is that our main character, Rina, has magic tattoos that give her specific powers. She received those tattoos - a bull for strength, wings for speed, etc. - in the first book. The wizards in the novel also have powers but use spells. (Rina has an advantage in that her power is built in with the ink.) The priests in the novel don't have powers but do, on occasion, received guidance from one of the many gods.

Anyway. In the last book Rina drove an invading army of Perranese soldiers out of her Duchy after her family was killed and the duchy defeated. The Klaar duchy is a back water region without much money so Rina and Co. are mostly ignored by the ruling King. Rina is learning how to lead and administer her lands and government while also hunting down the Quisling betrayed her family to the Perranese.

Meanwhile, Rina is also making the hot sexy lovey dovey with the young stable master. Her rakish cousin is being forced to marry a now pregnant conquest. Rina's main man-at-arms is working with a new security force. The Quisling and some remaining Perranese keep sending assassins. The Perranese are planning a bigger invasion from their home islands. The King wants to forcefully marry his gay relative to Rina. The gods seem to be fighting one another. So on. So forth.

Gischler never writes crap. So you know this is a solid story. He doesn't lay it heavy with making up a complete new world with it's own wacky cultures and mores.

I was kind of annoyed that the second Perranese invasion never came off - I suppose that is in book three. Book three is around here somewhere... let me check.

Nope. It's checked out and due back on December 20.

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