Varis is a bitter girl, hardened by years of living in the Dredge, but she retains a core of humanity. Her ability to slip into what she calls the river, where threats stand out as splashes of red in the currents of the world a The Skewed Throne is Joshua Palmatier 's debut novel, the first in a trilogy set in the city of Amenkor. Her ability to slip into what she calls the river, where threats stand out as splashes of red in the currents of the world around her, makes her an intriguing point of view character.
The early chapters develop Varis as a character, and while the pace never slows, it feels like the central plot of the book doesn't really start moving until later. We learn that the Mistress of Amenkor is losing her mind, and it is Varis and her gift who will have to put things right. This is not a cheerful book. There are at least five or six scenes of rape or attempted rape, as well as a number of killings.
Palmatier never glosses over the violence in Varis' life, and it is a violent life indeed. I have a great deal of respect for that kind of honesty from a writer. At the same time, some of the rape and killing began to feel repetitive by the time we reached the mid-point of the book. The Skewed Throne stands alone as a novel, but you can see Palmatier setting the groundwork for the story to come.
The White Fire which swept through Amenkor and apparently gave Varis her gift is never really explained. Only at the end do we receive our first clues, clues which will presumably be explained in the second and third books. Perhaps the best recommendation is that I like Varis enough to want to read the next book. And I'm very eager to learn more about the history of the Skewed Throne and the origin of the White Fire, things that were only touched on in this book.
While it might not appeal to everyone, if you enjoy grittier fantasy, I would recommend picking up The Skewed Throne. Dec 05, Kat rated it it was ok Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book embodies a trend I've been seeing a lot of recently: A lot of books published recently have the same problem: In this case, the book is about a girl with special powers who is trained as an assassin so that she can kill the current ruler who is insane an This book embodies a trend I've been seeing a lot of recently: In this case, the book is about a girl with special powers who is trained as an assassin so that she can kill the current ruler who is insane and assume the throne herself.
That's a great beginning of a novel. It's not a whole novel, it's the first third at most. I wonder if the problem is not necessarily the writer, but the current publishing model for YA and fantasy in particular: Well, what if a story doesn't contain a trilogy's worth of material? Do you pad out the setup into the first book? That's what seems to have happened here, and it happens a lot, and it drives me crazy.
It's not good writing, and it's not even a good marketing strategy, because it makes me disinclined to pick up the next books in the series. If the author spent all this time on the setup of his story, does he even know how to write the good parts? Again, I am sorry to pick on this book in particular; it's definitely not the only one I've read in recent memory with this exact same problem.
I could list dozens of others. So, come on, authors! Something in the industry is broken; let's try to fix it, please? Die junge Varis muss sich seit dem gewaltsamen Tod ihrer Mutter im Elendsviertel der Stadt Amenkor alleine durchschlagen. Doch in der Stadt und mit den Menschen von Amenkor geht etwas Schlimmes vor.
Ich hatte das Buch praktisch in einem halben Tag durch. Glanzpunkt war ganz klar Varis.
Die Spannung hielt bis zuletzt. Ich jedenfalls freue mich schon darauf. Feb 26, M— rated it it was ok Shelves: An engaging if somewhat pedestrian read. Reminded me a little of the Lies of Lock Lamora but less clever, much more straightforward.
But this is not a real underworld. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series you'll love Varis, who has a similar tenacity and toughness. Orphaned at six after her mother's murder, Varis learns to survive by her wits in the Dredge, the market street outside Amenkor's slums. The Recoletta Novels Limited Edition. Is rapists and serial murderers of women. One young girl holds the fate of a city in her hands. While it might not appeal to everyone, if you enjoy grittier fantasy, I would recommend picking up The Skewed Throne.
The plotline was predictable — what, like the main character was ever not going to be the new Mistress — but I really liked being in the main character's head. Varis was gloriously pragmatic and sensible. The madness of the Eryn-Mistress was poorly explored for my taste. I would have found the climax more believable if she had first manipulated Varis into siting on An engaging if somewhat pedestrian read.
I would have found the climax more believable if she had first manipulated Varis into siting on the skewed throne and then committed suicide, sticking Varis with the ruling responsibility; but I can understand Palmatier reinforcing his choice theme and having Eryn-Mistress make Varis deliberately choose.
Treat this book as a drinking game and take a shot every time there's a rape, a threat of rape, or a memory of rape. Rape threat, memory did not happen to one named female character. Of the unnamed characters who were not technically raped, the first was left wailing over the raped and murdered body of her young daughter, the second was implied and then murdered, the third was murdered and her body not inspected for other incidentals. It's a mark in the books favor that I carried along reading it despite the rapey mcrapeness. Dec 23, Liviu rated it did not like it Shelves: Under-average fantasy in both style and story.
In a year in which I read so many interesting books, this was one of the worst. Jan 02, Lenora Rose rated it it was ok. This books should have been a book I could cheer. She's driven by survival, desire not to slide back to what she was, a much smothered and denied, but visible, wish to be loved or embraced by family, and conflicted pride in her own rather violent skills.
The city-state in which it takes place is ruled by a woman, and always has been, as the succ This books should have been a book I could cheer. The city-state in which it takes place is ruled by a woman, and always has been, as the successor is chosen by the Skewed Throne itself. Varis is living in a market area on the fringe of the slums of the great city to start.
And this is where my big problem crops up. In poor and poorly patrolled places, one usually gets an interesting and broad variety of crimes. People are looking for escapes, so drugs or alcohol or cigarettes, or at least the untaxed and unregulated varieties, tend to run rife. For similar reasons, gambling dens and their hope might come up, though they tend to be a middle to upper class thing. People will go into prostitution in hopes of making extra money, or will kidnap and pimp out others so as to get he money without the risk.
Taxes tend to put a strain on already tight purses, so there tend to be smuggled goods, ranging from staples to luxuries. This creates a world of smugglers, people with a hidden still in their basement, people running honest shops with something less honest available in the back for those who know how to ask. Loan sharks take advantage of the desperate. Thugs and bodyguards crop up all over, to protect a smuggler or pimp, to squeeze blood from a stone from the desperate victims of the loan sharks. Kids and adults both realise working in groups gets more than working alone, and form gangs, which soon, as a sheer matter of self defense, realise that letting members go who know anything is very bad for business, and develop both perks and threats to keep members in.
Thieves and opportunists hang around to snag whatever can be snagged. In the underworld we're shown here, we only see the thieves and opportunists, of which our heroine is one, and one gang, which she belonged to but fled with zero consequences. Otherwise, all the crime in the market? Is rapists and serial murderers of women. Women kidnapped off the street and raped then killed, some of them it seems so fast our heroine can't even follow from across the street and down a couple of alleys before it's done. Oh, except one man we see beat his girlfriend, the girlfriend of whom seems honest Although she eventually kills him in self defense.
True, there are, I think, men whose actual crimes we don't know who are hunted by the law Which in this city state means being marked for death. And Bloodmark, our heroine's rival, who does kill men as well as women, mostly in the name of the law. I suppose fridging a man for a woman's sake is at least a bit of variety -- although I find it interesting that it's implied Varis has actually traded about 10 words with the man in question, in spite of how important she considers him. I'm hoping I misunderstood their encounter. But this is not a real underworld. It's a bloody mess where women are targets.
And Varis remains the only exception. Every other woman mentioned as existing in the market is a target, either of her, or of another thief, or of a rapist-murderer. Once we cross the river into the merchant levels of the city, we get cutthroat merchanting, bodyguards, paid assassins, and some more thieves and would-be-rapists of opportunity. There's no underworld here, but there's a whole lot more of what we should have seen as an underworld.
Varis gets hired as a bodyguard here, then slowly converted into paid assassin. There's an excellent undercurrent to this section, where she looks like she's going to be accepted into a family, and you can tell she wants that, but it never happens; if anything, she slides further and further back over time from a possible family member to a mere bodyguard then to a mere tool to use. Then - and this isn't a spoiler as the first chapter explains it - she's been hired to kill the Mistress of the city, whom the white fire has driven mad. So the entire book and Varis's life history are all leading to and pointing to her meeting with the Mistress, the ruler of the city, who seems to be mad.
The Skewed Throne has ratings and 39 reviews. Austine (NovelKnight) said: What is it with fantasies selling a great concept but failing to create a m. The Skewed Throne (Throne of Amenkor) and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. The Skewed Throne (Throne of Amenkor) Mass Market Paperback – November 7, This item:The Skewed Throne (Throne of Amenkor) by Joshua Palmatier Mass Market Paperback $
This book finally passes the Bechdel test on page of There might have been enough dialogue in flashback between Varis and her mother to count. And - well, the Mistress IS mad. She's coherent enough to give Varis a little warning before the spoilery ending stuff, but I don't know.
It felt a bit underwhelming as a scene with the fate of their city-state in question. Oh, and the flashbacks that Varis get of centuries of history include yet another woman raped and murdered. She was a good character.
Some of the men around her were interesting characters who needed more done with them - Erick, and William both felt like they could use more time. Enough better I won't feel like I want to leave his worlds as fast as possible before someone murders me? Mar 16, Al Burke rated it really liked it. A fine first read in the Throne of Amenkor series, the tale follows Varis, a street urchin who embarks on what does not quite look to be a rags-to-riches story.
She is tired of either fighting just to survive, or being used as a toy by others, using her gift that enables her to see, to simplify, whether people are good or bad. The book rattles along at a good pace, and I look forward to reading Book Two. Jan 23, Kathleen rated it it was amazing. I received a free review copy of this book. The Empire of Ashes. A Plague of Giants. Before the Storm World of Warcraft.
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Titles in Order Sort by: Latest to First First to Latest. The final book in the gripping and gritty fantasy Throne of Amenkor trilogy, the story of an unlikely heroine in a city devastated and altered by the mysterious White Fire The city of Amenkor has stood for well over a thousand years as a premier trading center.
Ruled by the Mistress of the Skewed Throne, Amenkor has weathered attacks by invaders and the madness, drought, famine, and disease brought by the mysterious White Fire. Yet Varis and the people of Amenkor are not the only ones looking toward Venitte. The Chorl invaders are on the march, and whether Venitte will fare any better against the Chorl than Amenkor remains to be seen. The second book in the gripping and gritty fantasy Throne of Amenkor trilogy, the story of an unlikely heroine in a city devastated and altered by the mysterious White Fire Varis learned to survive as a very young child in the slums of Amenkor.
And when the mysterious White Fire swept through the city for the second time in a millennium, bringing madness, drought, famine, and disease to the land, Varis survived that as well. Yet from that moment, Amenkor began a steady decline, and Eryn herself seemed to hover on the edge of madness.
As Amenkor deteriorated, Varis came to the attention of some of the most powerful people in the city, people who could see her unique potential.