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The Red-Stained Wings
The Red-Stained Wings: The Lotus Kingdoms, Book Two | Elizabeth Bear
2 posts | 2 read | 2 to read
Hugo Awardwinning author Elizabeth Bear returns the epic fantasy world of the Lotus Kingdoms with The Red-Stained Wings, the sequel to The Stone in the Skull, taking the Gage into desertlands under a deadly sky to answer the riddle of the Stone in the Skull. The Gage and the Dead Man brought a message from the greatest wizard of Messaline to the ruling queen of Sarathai, one of the Lotus Kingdoms. But the message was a riddle, and the Lotus Kingdoms are at war. Elizabeth Bear created her secondary world of the Eternal Sky in her highly praised novel The Range of Ghosts and its sequels. She continued it the first book of the Lotus Kingdoms, The Stone in the Skull.
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“Helplessness, the state of being a victim, is not learned ... It‘s taught. And the course of instruction is written in powerlessness, in kicks and blows. In dismissals. It is taught in the language of being unable to protect the things and the people you value from violence ... It is written with the pen of denigration upon the paper of desperation” (p. 330)

Truth from a fantasy author — no surprise there.

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Much like the first book in the trilogy, this second book had mystery, action and political posturing. The pacing was quite good and right at a point where I began to wearily wonder how long I was expected to put up with a character, he was dispensed with. A pleasure to see a book where most characters were highly intelligent women who could make decisions and be vulnerable as well.