I actually wish we'd gotten to see a little more, but what we saw was good. I thought the whole thing with Cillian was beautifully done. I could remember all that passion from my first love, only I respected Moirin more for her decision just before the cattle raid. I cried. I look forward to more Moirin books, and I hope she's not still reviled when she finally goes home.
As always, I loved getting more insight into D'Angeline culture – especially the priesthood. The bits she spent with her father were probably some of my very favorite passages. I know her time with Cillian's family helped her ease into the bustling City life a bit better, but I still thought she acclimated a bit easily. Getting purse snatched and hit by a carriage is pretty logical for a backwoods girl, so I guess I was just peeved when Raphael swooped in to “rescue” and debut her right away. I guess there was a lot of ground to cover though, so just a minor annoyance.
I really enjoyed the interesting triangle with Moirin, Raphael, & Jehanne. That was pretty delightful, and I'm glad I actually ended up liking Jehanne better. The summonings were interesting enough, and I did like how Moirin saw them all differently and got on better with them. I thought it was cool that demons were so taken with her courtesy while the others were trying to force their bidding. Attitude makes a difference!
I also really enjoyed Master Lo Feng and his energy work. As a Reiki Master, I was delighted to see energy work becoming a major plotline in the book. I've apped characters with the ability and am glad to see it officially cannon. I've done similar breathwork and energy exercises with my own Reiki Master. It tickled me, and yet again I have more respect for Carey's research and blending of reality with myth and fiction.
I don't do Traditional Reiki, but Medicine Reiki, which is more akin to the Maghuin Dhonn than to Ch'in or Buddhism. I have studied Buddhism, though, and I loved seeing how different paths were represented – and always, in her books, how it's stressed that each path is equal. Lo Feng was very similar to Master Piero in that respect. I don't know a whole lot about China and their history or myths, so I enjoyed the different flavor presented here.
The difference in Snow Tiger's possession and Lucius' was well-done, I thought. It could have been too much like Lucca and it wasn't, and I thought this instance was infinitely more beautiful. The dragon was awesome, in my opinion. I know some disagree, but I love when magic and wonder is highlighted more than the war or spying. (I also like that Moirin sucked at spying considerably more than Phedre did, even though she had actual magic to assist.) I also thought it was great that he became guardian of the snowdrops. I hope that ends up going somewhere in the next books.
I'm still on the fence about the Moirin/Bao thing. I'll hold out on making a decision just yet, but I really hope it's not too angsty or reminiscent of Phedre and Joscelin. She's done a good job of making both Imriel's books and Moirin's be very unique in their tone and stories. I guess I just get leery.
What did you think?