This book will stress you out in the best way.Times of Change is a wonderfully plotted novel that follows the three original main characters from book one and now a new character as they each struggle to obtain their own separate but intertwining goals in a world that is hurtling toward inevitable disaster So, basically, what s not to love The characters are complex and the obstacles they face often seem insurmountable Most of them are both loveable and treacherous at the same time, with the exception of Caer, who needs to be beaten with his whip, and as a reader, it is difficult at times to decide whose side to choose in the struggle.The author has created a well thought out world that incorporates the sword and dagger feel of a fantasy novel with the anything goes possibilities of a science fiction novel The main storyline focuses on the conflict taking place on the planet, but the underlying thread tying in the larger inter planetary conflict continues to run through the plot ratcheting up the intensity at every turn.It is difficult to write a review that doesn t give anything away, and I am going to spare you the torture of wondering what the heck is about to happen or the lost sleep or the bad dreams Just know that the author does a masterful job creating characters you will love, even if you will love to hate them, and a plot that you can t predict, but that you can follow in a world that is rich in culture and possibilities and she does it with excellent writing, snappy dialog and vivid imagery. One Woman Must Lead Her People In A Desperate Stand Against TyrannyIn Eight Generations Nothing Like This Has Been Received By Any Harkeran Ruler And Yet Now It Is You, A Widow, Someone Who Has No Blood Claim To The Crown In Your Own Right, Who Is Being Called Upon To Deal With A Declaration Of War Fate Has Left Jaelya Roussal Ruling As Regent Of Harkera At The Most Troubled Time In Its History The Warlord Qabal Vyazin Has Set His Sights On Seizing The Country And Making It Part Of His Powerful, Barbaric Empire, And He Would Crush The Stirrings Of The Progressive And Compassionate Way Of Life That The Nation Has Embraced Harkera Is Also Home To A Powerful Secret Which Could Affect The Fate Of All The Coalition Worlds Jaelya Needs The Help Of Every Friend She Can Find To Keep Her Daughter S Kingdom Safe But First She Has To Decide If She Can Trust Those Who Offer To Help Her Protect Harkera Or If To Do So Risks Losing Everything She Cares For To Betrayal Temsevar Is An Insignificant Periphery World On The Very Fringes Of Galactic Civilization Settled Long Before The Rise Of Faster Than Light Technologies And Left Isolated For Hundreds Of Years, Its Population Has Degenerated Into The Barbarism Of A Medieval Culture This Primitive World Has Nothing The Wealthy Planets Of The Coalition Could Want, Until It Becomes Unwitting Host To One Of Their Most Dangerous Enemies Avilon Revid But Temsevar Has Its Own Struggles, Which Are Being Played Out Against The Backdrop Of Its Harsh Society And Unforgiving Climate Times Of Change Is The Second Volume In The Transgressor Trilogy It Continues The Story Of The Events On Temsevar Which Began In The Fated Sky And Tracks The Lives Of Avilon Revid, Durban Chola And Jariq Zarengor As They Struggle To Survive In The Dangerous World Of Temsevaran High Politics And Open Warfare The Series Continues With Transgressor BookDues Of Blood The Sabre Is The Most Famous Of The Gladiatorial Fighters In The Arena Of Alfor He Knows How To Face Any Opponent On The Sand And Has Defeated Them All In The Blood Games Patronised By The Wealthy Elite Of Medieval Temsevar But The Warlord Qabal Vyazin Has Decreed The Arena Is To Become A Means Of Political Execution And Even The Sabre Will Have To Struggle To Survive As The Action On Temsevar Moves To The End Game, Those Caught Up In Events Find Themselves Polarised And Choosing Sides, Unsure Of Where The Dagger Of Betrayal May Hide But Offworld Influences Are Reaching Into The Planet S Affairs And Temsevar Itself Could Fall Under Threat From The Coalition It was clear to me from the beginning that Times of Change is in the wonderfully convoluted class fantasy novel again Somewhere in the middle, having the feeling of an imperfect characterization, I settled for an amalgamation between wonderfully convoluted and constructive chaos Filled with intelligent main characters, none of them dressed in just black and white, most of the story is a battle of wills and different interpretations on how a society could be governed While already accustomed with the characters from the first book in the series, I could not pass over the increasing subtlety of Vavasor s perception and actions He did not follow Qabal just from loyalty He was able to perceive that an unified kingdom will end all wars, just that they neededwars to end the wars.Between all those strong characters, there is a secondary one, the only one filled with a certain ingenuity and normal human feelings Princess Karlynne I wished that she could be able transferof her personality into the surrounding world, and I thought that Caer s personality could have been exploited in arestrained manner. As the kingdoms of Temsevar fall to the might of the warlord Qabal, one will stand resolutely against the seemingly unstoppable tide Harkera would suffer the same plight of its neighbors except for the scheming of one Durban Chola, who has arranged for the delivery of two gifts that would turn those tides of fate to their favor And yet, for all their promise, these gifts will alter the affairs of the small war weary kingdom so that conflict will wage within in preparation of the siege without.I loved reading Times of Change, a noble successor to The Fated Sky Swift hook is a talented writer with excellent prose, intrigue and unique description that once again, drew me into the struggles of Temsevar In my review of book one, my only complaint was that I felt the end lacked a cohesive moment of conclusion I can safely say that this concern was done away with in ToC I was engrossed in the events of the book all the way to the end and could scarcely put it down I was invested evenwith the principal characters as they gained depth and detail With a stirring conclusion, everything is properly arranged for book III Trepidation and curiosity are fixed in place, a perfect way to draw me into the next book of the series.A few other items of note I love that Swift hook does not feel the need to rush the relationships in her work They are allowed to grow as they should and not drawn into tropes that can often cheapen the genre That is not to say certain characters do not act their part We have a range of relationships that are crafted well, according to the circumstances and personalities involved I was just pleased to invest the time that good relationships deserve I appreciated the insight into the characters thoughts by choice of perspective There is an overarching thread in this series, which concerns the outer world events and various technologies of advanced civilizations These touch lightly upon the events of this book but are not governed by it I admit, I had entertained a thought of the Avilon riding in to save the day all guns blasters blazing Thankfully, this was not the case The relationship between the fantasy setting and other forces is handled extremely well There are many powers at work, but none ever feels contrived, forced, or worst of all, convenient I admit there was one part of the book where I was confused by an internal struggle The causation of the conflict left me pondering and through the novel, some light was shed on the subject I am hopinginformation comes to light in the next book Sorry for the generalized spoiler free language.I highly recommend this book and series and look forward to reviewing the next installment, Dues of Blood. This was great Good characters and a really well thought out plot. Where do I begin Having invested in such characters as Durban Chola and Avilon Revid in the second trilogy, I was glad when opportunity came up to read the first set of books I had read the first book in the transgressor trilogy last year, and Times of Change picked up from where The Fated Sky left off.The story is set amidst a brewing war, of which our three main characters Jarik Zarangor, Durban Chola and Avilon Revid are drawn into This is a dark and forboding tale of betrayal, mistrust and death The one I really felt for in the whole scenario was Jarik Zarangor He was blamed for something that wasn t his fault a long time ago, and nobody trusted him You have to read the book to see what I meanand the ending will leave you reeling It did me, that s for sure, and I m not sure I m happy about that.Everything about this story was well done The narrative was well paced, the dialogue, complex The characters were believable I rooted for the ones I wanted to root for and hated the ones I wanted to hate, they were made that way.I can t wait to get stuck in to book 3 Actually, I think I get on the case right now.IMO, you really need to read this author s books I have become a huge fan and will continue to be so as long as the keep writing. The second volume of the trilogy pushes the pace, and I becameaware of just how high are the stakes I also began to understand better the relationship between the three central male characters and what drives them to behave as they do The casual brutality was at times shocking enough to grasp me by the throat, but it is handled cleverly and the book never wallows in gore I liked it a lot, and I shall most certainly be reading the third volume.So why not five stars It s just that I m still not quite able to immerse myself I m still sitting outside the story looking in I think it s me I do wish there was a 4.75 stars category. This story starts right where book one ended The three main characters becomeembroiled in the coming battle over control of Harkera Jariq is shackled by his sense of honor, Durban Chola has little sense of honor but we see some of his motivation when we meet his sister Jaelya Roussal, the regent of Harkera and mother to the future ruler, Karlynne Here we witness some compassion in Durban, though he remains far from trustworthy Avilon is caught between the others, bridging the gap between Jariq and Durban but also between Jariq and Jaelya who has lost all trust in her new commander, Jariq Avilon is dealing with his strong sense of guilt for leaving a friend behind to face certain death and is trying to assuage these feelings by putting his life on the line for these new friends Soon they will face the ambitious Warlard, Qabal Vyazin who is determined to wrest control of Harkera for himself.The world created by E.M Swift Hook becomesfleshed out and we begin to see where the primitive world of Temsevar and thecivilized planets of the coalition coincide When a bounty hunter locates Avilon we get a small glimpse into what is in store in future volumes from this universe Vivid world building and a great team of characters make this book highly recommended. Times of Change continues the promise I glimpsed in The Fated Sky This is epic storytelling at it s best I ve read some of the other reviews and have seen that people complain because none of the characters are likeable This is true At points in Times of Change I wanted to slap each of the main characters for being obtuse, or stubborn, or just aggravating as hell, but I think that is why I am enjoying these books so much These are not your garden variety, cookie cutter heroes In fact there are times when I couldn t even tell for sure if any of them even were heroes They all have a deep well of darkness inside that is being slowly, masterfully revealed to the reader While I don t really like any of them, I am getting to know them much as I would if I knew them in real life For me, Avilon, Jariq, and Durban are fascinating men who have secrets, agendas, passions, and fears and I eagerly devoured this book to learnabout them.Temsevar is a richly developed world, with a history that is so complete that you don t need a lot of back story exposition The characters know the history of their world and they fit there, so I did not need a lot of background detail to simply accept it as the characters do It, like the main characters, is not likeable I would not want to visit there and certainly wouldn t want to live there Yet I do want to know Temsevar and the people that live, struggle, and die there E.M Swift Hook has brought to life an entire world and culture that I would have no trouble studying for years It is a real place, with real problems, and real beauty to be found if the explorer is willing to look for it Sweeping sagas often leave me bogged down in the details Not this one I do not know how she does it, but the author made me live in her world, feel her world, see her world, even in some places smell her world, so skillfully that I never felt it dragging, or bogging down Kudos to a master story teller. Review of Times of Change Transgressor Trilogy Book 2 by E M Swift HookAs soon as I finished the first book of this series which I enjoyed so much I bought the next I had to find out what would happen to the three main characters in their individual search for an answer to their very different problems The difficulty in writing this review is how to describe the enthralling story without giving away the plot and the continuous twists and obstacles the trio encounter A warlord s brilliant general who all believe has the blood of a massacred city on his hands, an off world freedom fighter captured and branded a slave by the backward society that captured him and a man so skilled in deception that it is difficult for any but himself to know what his goal is These characters are cast like dice into a world on the brink of consumption by the warlord s lust for total domination Will the throw alter the course of history Do any of the participants even care about the outcome Can the last bastion of near civilisation dare to entrust its survival to a proven traitor, a man on the run and someone who many consider to be a grinning liar.To answer these questions you will need to follow the tortured path that these men follow To succeed they must fight their way through a world where even fait and chance seem loaded against them Join their band, saddle your pony and make ready for a nerve jangling foray of danger betrayal and mistrust to an uncertain future.I can promise that you will not be disappointed and will cling on by your fingernails to this splendid fantasy till the bitter end.Five Stars.
E.M Swift Hook is the author of the Fortune s Fools dark space opera series and co author of the alternate history whodunits the Dai and Julia Mysteries.In the words that Robert Heinlein put into the mouth of Lazarus Long Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards Having tried a number of different careers, before settling in the
- 381 pages
- Times of Change
- E.M. Swift-Hook
- 18 July 2017 E.M. Swift-Hook