Knight of the Demon Queen: Barbara Hambly, 2000; Del Ray
If I had not enjoyed the first two books in the Winterland series as much as I did, I would have put this one down after about the third or fourth page. But loyalty is the game, and with that in mind I tightened up my reader belt and made a commitment to read the third book all the way through it to the end (with only minimal page skipping).
So what was it about #3 that I found so difficult to get through?
Just about everything. From a lack of good character development, to story line, to world shifting. Maybe if Hambly hadn’t jumped off planet and tried to incorporate a twisted version of Earth-hell into the story, I might have not been so turned off. But she did, and because of it, I found myself continually checking ahead of where I was to see if the nightmare would ever end.
Not a good reader sign. It felt like she’d invited me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, only to discover that the menu has been completely altered; instead of serving my favorite Lobster Cannelloni, I was handed a plate of spaghetti (and you can ask my mother, I hate spaghetti) and a bottle of cheap, l0gonberry wine. It takes everything in you to keep from getting up and walking out.
But on a shelf across the room, sat the fourth book in Hambly’s Winterland series, and given that I had complete confidence that she could redeem this thing, I stuck it out.
On my readers scale of 1-5 stars, I gave “Knight of the Demon Queen” 3 stars.