Now that the reviewers have read each other's thoughts...
Well, Penny come on in, tea is ready. Cold out this weekend... It is a beautiful day to talk about Aric kan Ingan. We have just finished reading Downfall, the fifth in the kan Ingan series. You mentioned to me how strange it is that both of our reviews still centered around Aric, yet he was not in the forefront of this story. We have come to know this man, and in this story the author shows us Aric has re-made the name Margrave and all it truly means, he is now ruler extraordinaire as he was meant to be; fulfilling his destiny.
Brrrr, thanks for the tea, I needed it and it is indeed a nice day to curl up under an afghan and discuss a good book. I chuckled as I read your review, because we’ve often been accused of not really being two people but one person writing two reviews, and once again we’ve chosen to focus on the character who, while important to the story, is not exactly the central character. While I was happy to once again connect with our old friend, I was saddened as well, our strong confident Aric who had sacrificed so much for his beloved Arcanis was once again being tested by those he loved. How could this brave, somewhat arrogant man survive betrayal again? We both tried to tap dance around the central plot line so as not to give away any spoilers but I have to say, Ms. Sweeney took our story in a direction that in a million years I could never have guessed she would have gone. I’m still unsure how I feel about it, this book completely took me out of my comfort zone and I’m sure that impacted my enjoyment of the story. How about you, would you have guessed she was going where she went?
As an adult, and as I read , I understand that we are not in a genre type story that the lovers are ‘mated forever’. We wish as starry eyed lovers that love is eternal, but life does not always give us that. But when reading Aric’s story, it is painful to see his ever grasp at the gold ring is just that, a breathe away. Ms Sweeney, has raised an eyebrow with her subject matter in this story. We have noted the incest and rape of one of the characters, but to her defense I felt it added to the psychopathic illness that was underlying the perpetrator, that no one saw. The powerful ending of this story just brought me to flashbacks of the scenes in Return where Aric was the prisoner. Imagine him seeing his beloved son in the same place. Made me weep for Aric two fold. The story in this book is too powerful to tell as the secrets will be spoilers, so I am just trying to write my reaction to my feelings.
I think the direction Ms. Sweeney took us in is most likely going to be one of those agree to disagree points between us. I have to wonder if there wasn’t some other way to get to the end and whether the end justifies the means. I agree about trying not to give spoilers, very hard to do with this book since the main plot line was so discussion worthy. As far as the perpetrator, I will say you couldn’t have asked for a easier bad guy to dislike. I just couldn’t find one redeeming quality about him and my heart broke with what his illness did to those who loved him. While of all the books in the series, this was most likely my least favorite, as always Ms. Sweeney did get my attention and keep it, even though at times that attention was begrudgingly given. Once again, well done for a story well told and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Aric and Miles and the legacy they’ve built.
Don’t forget to dampen the fire before you leave and good night Gracie.
Very well said Penny. But to quote you “While of all the books in the series, this was most likely my least favorite”. I feel Penny, it might be one of Ms Sweeney’s best in the series. The feelings invoked for all of the characters were astounding. Doc Susan, Miles wife, Auric, Riven. All I can say is Ms Sweeney I applaud you....and await more!!! Glad you saw fit to bring us another.
Nite Georgie.....sweet dreams
Q&A with Author Toni V. Sweeney:
1. Downfall was a little departure from the earlier books in this series since it was much darker and dealt with some pretty disturbing issues. Are you worried that readers of the series might be turned away because of some of the content?
Since it’s almost the last book in the series…not really. I’ve always seen Aric’s life like some Science Fiction soap opera…”Dallas” in Space or “Revenge” on another Planet, if you will. Would you really want him to just settle peacefully into old age, anyway? Anyway, the actual last book, Space Studs will round up everything with an HEA, I promise.
2. I know you will eventually end this series, do you have another one in mind for a continuation like you did from the Heretic series to this one?
Well, the Three Moon series is now happening on and off on Arcanis, and it’s going to be mentioned now and then in other books and there’s one book which I hope to some day add, concerning Valriven kan Ingan’s run-in with Tamara the Forest Witch, (a spin-off actually telling what happened to Tamara and Mikel after they fell off the cliff into the river) but other than that…who can say? None planned at this time, anyway, let’s just put it that way. I won’t say “Never” though.
3. I've read all three series, Riven the Heretic, The kan Ingans and Three Moon Station and I have to admit, I occasionally get lost as to who was whose ancestor. Have you thought about giving readers a good old fashioned family tree in the beginning or as an appendix to the next book?
I actually have one written out (One for Sinbad, too). Unfortunately, my computer freezes every time I try to access them. Maybe I’ll just write a new one and put in the last Riven book and the last Archives novel.
4. I am so excited that a little tiny door was left ajar for another story for Aric and Miles. Will there, could there be one???
I have to confess, at quiet moments (of which there are few), I get this voice…getting louder each time…telling me things and a vision of a white-haired Mark at 60 looking out over a green valley while his best friend Aric complains about a woman who is very persistent in “chasing” him and he doesn’t know whether to stop running or not. I guess if the voice gets loud enough, I’ll have to shut it up by putting the story in my computer but I think if I do write it, it’s going to be light, something along the lines of…how do a former king and his best friend act when women half their age set their sights on them and the fact that each has several teenaged children doesn’t matter in the least? With suitable action scenes (after all it is SF) and sex scenes (it’s a romance, too).
5- What next this year for Toni Sweeney???
We-e-l-ll…let me see, so far, I’ve 4 novels scheduled for release with Class Act Books...The Seventh Mothman (Lovers of Leonesse), That Demon in Blue Jeans, Dragon in Chains (sequel in The Rose and the Dragon), and Three Moon Station is being re-released with an edited and longer denoument, Double Dragon is supposed to release the next Sinbad novel…Sinbad’s War…this year. I’m finishing up the last Chronicles of Riven the Heretic novel, The Man from Cymene, which is the prequel about Riven’s father and features a five-year-old Riven. I’ve a mystery, Tuesday’s Child, which needs a home. The third novel in the Three Moon series, about Sarkin Trant’s cousin Margrave Damian-Marcus, titled In This Kingdom by the Sea, is ready. I just finished editing a posthumous autobiography, Doing Time in Hell, for a former prison guard at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, and I still have about a dozen books left on my TW (To Write) list. Plus I’m now a reviewer for TwoLips reviews and the New York Journal of Books, and I’ve recently been offered the position as promotion/publicity manager with a small press…and that’s only for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Is that enough to keep me out of trouble, do you think?
Readers: We welcome your input!
Please feel free to comment on the book, review or the contents of our conversation at: