The Force of Wind by Elizabeth Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Not as great as the first two but still a good installment in this series. I did find Giovanni's tendency to lose all rational sense where Beatrice was concerned to be a bit tedious. He wasn't very much like that in the first two books & this time around it all centered on Beatrice taking steps to become more independent in her abilities to learn to protect herself. Paranoia, whiny & over-bearing doesn't translate very well as strength of love to me, so it put me off just a bit. I was glad that Beatrice didn't suffer him and went ahead with whatever she was going to do anyway & told him he was being a dolt. I did tire a bit of her bravado when she clearly had no ability to win or even a plan. Her mouth ran ahead of her brain & physical capability more than it did in the last book. And then there's the relationship between Giovanni & Beatrice. Their couplehood is solid so there's really nothing that I read as a real threat. Not even Baojia. I didn't see the point of the pseudo-flirtation with a triangle. There seemed to be more romance & one on one bonding in this book and honestly, it started to get a little formulaic. After the third declaration of eternal love & "balance in this life & any life" in a vampire story, I've kinda had enough with the trope. I'm starting to want one of them to die in book 4, just to have the perverse thrill of the opposite or at least a very bittersweet, short union. I did like that there weren't just easy wins & smooth sailing when it came to vampire showdowns.
I missed Carwyn's presence a lot and hope he's featured a lot in the final book. Stephen was great to finally meet & get to know (& sad to see depart). Everything about Tenzin is interesting, as always. They mystery of the book & the alchemist's immortality formula is still running & as before, I wanted more of that in this book. It was interesting to spend so much time in the court at Penglai & I liked all the political intrigue. I'm hoping Rome is the big deal in the last book, because Livia... I think there's a story there.
Overall, I enjoyed this one. It took me a little longer to get through than the others but that's probably because I know what I'm looking for in the resolution department and I want to get there already.
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