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It's become less about the wonders hiding behind the city we think we know and more about delivering formula romance stories and neo-noir detective stories. The heroine discovers her power and True Love. The hero has a fistful of spells and a heart of gold. The demons are scary but tidily defeated. The Twenty Palaces plays with these conventions in a refreshing way, and by "plays with" I mean "knocks them over and puts in the boot". The hero is not a good person. He really is a criminal who has and continues to do terrible things albeit in a better cause.
His boss is powerful, cynical, damaged, and doesn't have a sexy cuddly side. The demons aren't people with brimstone perfume and human motivations.
They are powerful, hungry and just outside. The eponymous Twenty Palaces does vital work but is murderous, irresponsible, and self-serving. The Twisted Path is Connolly's first return to this work since the original series was cancelled by Del Rey, and I sincerely hope it will not be the last. Raymond Lilly has matured as a character. The author has begun experiment with narrative structure in ways he didn't have the experience or confidence to before, and the results are gratifying.
There is just enough reveal and bite to remind the reader of what is at stake and more than sufficient to want to travel further down this dangerous, frightening road. If you've read the series you want this; if not, go check out the earlier books! I highly recommend the whole series, but if you dive in here you're not gonna have any idea what's going on, who the hell these people are, or why you should care.
That being said, if you've read the series, either at the above recommendation or in the past and are wondering if this new installment measures up? Obviously it's a novella and is shorter than the other entries, with the exception of the short story that takes place between Circle of Enemies and this story. It's a great story though, with an interesting narrative structure. I could try to breakdown what's good about the story and whatnot in this review but the calculus for purchasing this novella is simple: Did you read and enjoy the Twenty Palaces series up to this point and enjoy it?
If yes, get The Twisted Path.
If you haven't read it, maybe go take a look at either Twenty Palaces or Child of Fire, and then make a decision based on those whether to continue with the series or not. Ray Lilly is her Wooden Man -- an assistant whose primary responsibility is to distract her foes, draw their fire, and die in her stead. It's not the world's best gig, but he's an ex-con and doesn't have a lot of prospects there are other reasons, but you should read them for yourself.
The thing is, Ray's worked a lot with Annalise without dying, which makes him a remarkable example of a Wooden Man. Naturally, while they're there, the pair have an opportunity to take out a supernatural bad guy in their spare time. This is a very different kind of story for this series, the focus isn't on the magical threat, but on the Society itself. Yes, there are Predators to be dealt with -- but that's almost a side-note. The Twisted Path gives Ray, as well as the reader, a much greater understanding of the Society. Not that I ever had a complaint about the focus in the earlier stories, but reading this pointed out what I wasn't seeing before.
Initially, you care about the Society's mission in that, 1. Now, I think I have a greater investment in the whole organization.
There's just so many things I loved about this -- Ray, the small-time crook from the Western U. Just his reaction to walking on stairs that have existed for longer than the U. Ray's initial response to the peers he's called was so perfect, that I know it brought a smile to my face. Connolly did all the little things right, and that makes it so much easier for the reader to care about the bigger things. He's probably done that throughout the series, but in a full novel, it's easier to not pay attention to those details so you can get on with the story -- so you can find out what's going on.
The movie is a bit slow at the beginning but is well shot and many scenes are quite suspenseful. Once happy with your work, you turn and take the left archway. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. He's a wooden man. Joel groaned inwardly as he read the title in typical olde english font emblazoned across the top:. Hooray, first book of the year coming in at 2AM, Jan 1.
In a novella, you can feel like you can take your time. Not only that, Connolly structured this novella in an atypical fashion -- it allowed him to do some things with the story that were natural, organic, and not-cheating, but were able to take the reader by some degree of surprise that he wouldn't have been able to in a straight-forward beginning-to-end structure.
This is the true beginning of the next phase of the Twenty Palaces story. Remember a few paragraphs ago when I mentioned that extremely nebulous plan? The first three books were meant to be about Ray working with Annalise against the predators. The next set digs deeper into the society itself and the spell books that pre-date the human race.
Editorial Reviews. Review. Connolly's Lovecraft-ian/Geiger-style lore and world building is The Twisted Path: A Twenty Palaces Novella by [Connolly, Harry]. Start by marking “The Twisted Path: A Twenty Palaces Novella (Twenty Palaces #)” as Want to Read: Ray Lilly has been summoned to the headquarters of the Twenty Palace Society to answer one question: How has he managed to survive mission after mission fighting alongside his.
When this series of stories wraps up assuming things go well Ray and Annalise will move on to the next phase, and the titles will change again. Does that mean there will be more Ray Lilly stories after this one? Circle of Enemies came out in , more than six years ago.
Maybe it's because I didn't have any expectations but over all I found it entertaining. A 6 from me. Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet!
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