Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 28, 2014: 'The Jewel of the Kalderash'

Welcome to Book City
Date: December 28, 2014 

Spoilers Ahead

The Jewel of the Kalderash
Marie Rutkoski 

Upon arriving in the Romany homeland to deliver the Mercator Globes, Petra Kronos, Tomik, and Neel formulate a plan to save Petra’s father, who has been transformed into a Gray Man. But when a long-held secret is revealed, Neel finds himself bound to his country.

The friends are quickly swept up in an epic battle for power. Thrones are at stake. Spies are afoot. Murder is common. Worst of all, Prince Rodolfo is close to becoming emperor, and ruling half of Europe.

How much is Petra willing to sacrifice to defend the people she loves? Her search for answers will take her to castles and cities, through mountains, and even underwater as she tests her strength and gambles her life.

City Calendar:
This is what happened during the week.
Petra celebrates her fourteenth birthday on the ship. The ship gets to the Vatra. Neel is summoned by the queen of the Roma. He is told Iona the queen is Neel's mother. Neel storms off. Petra and Tomik meet the Metis who suggest Petra talk to Fiala to cure her father who was turned into a Gray Man. Petra talks to Neel. Neel decides to be king of the Vatra. Neel gives Tomik the Mercator Globes to examine them. Petra studies with the Metis. Tomik makes smaller Mercator Globes for each Roma tribe. Petra and Tomik prepare to leave. Neel can't go with them. Neel and Petra form a mental link. Petra and Tomik leave for Bohemia. They end up without supplies in Krumlov. They are attacked by Gray Men and live. They survive in the forest and rush to Iris's castle when Astrophil's gears stop working. Neel has a ball in the castle where he decides the fate of a coconut plantation. Neel is almost poisoned. Tomik and Petra head for the Academy where Fiala is hidden. The Academy is burned to the ground by the rebels. Neel tries to find out who poisoned him. Dee appears at the Roma court asking to be an ambassador. Petra talks to Sadie Neel's 'sister'. Tomik hopes to get an apprenticeship to Fiala. Neel figures out who is the assassin. He publicly gets the assassin to appear and try to kill him before just imprisoning the assassin. The assassin being Arun Neel's adviser. Dee talks to Neel about killing Rodolfo who is killing his brothers to eliminate competition. Sadie is killed when she is caught spying one night, and her body is publicly displayed in the market. Emperor Karl dies, by the hands of the Gray Men. Rodolfo prepares to become emperor. Petra finds out about Sadie's death and tells Neel. Petra's location is found out by Rodolfo who sends soldiers after her. Petra, Tomik, and the two people Petra was staying with Lucas and Zora escape. They head for Fiala's lab; this information was found by Lucas moments before they fled. They capture Fiala and force her to make a cure for the Gray Men transformation. The Roma prepare for war. Fiala makes the cure. Petra joins Neel at Krumlov. A battle strategy is formed. Petra turns herself in. In an attempt to convince Rodolfo to go to a certain bridge, she makes the Choice, putting all her magic and energy into a single magic her mind magic. This convinces Rodoflo to cross that bridge, thinking he'll win. The plan started. Iris and Treb both die early on in the fight. Tomik throws the Marvel containing the gas to turn the Gray Men back into humans. Rodolfo dies conveniently. The war ends with the other Bohemians simply giving up. Zora and Tomik get together. Petra talks to Neel. The two kiss.   
And that's what happened this week.

Personal Ads:
Bohemian. Mind magic and metal magic. Running from Rodolfo the prince of Bohemia. Has a father who is a metal magician turned Gray Man. Hates Rodolfo. Cares for her family. Friends with Tomik. Reckless. Impulsive. Fourteen. 

Becoming a stronger magician. Uses glass magic. Likes Petra and Zora. Petra's childhood friend. Kind. Smart. Adaptable to any place with any people. Bohemian. Fifteen. 

The king of the Vatra. Roma. Danior's Fingers. Cocky. Wicked. Cares for Petra. Fifteen. Lovari/Kalderash. Rash. Impulsive. Reckless. Acts before he thinks. 

I think this book let me down. Just a bit. I mean...I still loved the plot, but there were nagging problems.
The action was great. Really. This action was more than the action in both of the first two books combined. It was fast. It was gory without being creepy. I loved the action. Petra has gained abilities with that sword of hers. She can fight well. And, of course, there is a battle scene. I am a big fan of those types of scenes when the battle commences. The action is poured into that scene. Completely. Sword. Cannons. Ah. I just love those things. The action in this book was thrilling. I was kept wanting more. 
Neel turning into a king but still being the Neel everyone loves. I liked that. He didn't let royalty status change him. Neel was still Neel. Reckless. Impulsive. Stupid. But he did make some smart moves. Not the 'I'm letting an outsider destroy our globes' part. That was plain stupid. He made everyone hate him. At least give them a reason to like you. They don't like you in general. You practically ruined the Maraki. They have a reason to fight you. I hope he did expect assassins. Really. There were many reasons for Neel to be assassinated. But he didn't change. Most people take  royalty for granted. Neel didn't. He didn't even want to be king. I admire that he did become king for Petra's sake. It shows he really cares. 
Tomik. He really stands up for himself in this book. He turns into someone the other characters need. The Gray Man gas in a Marvel thing. The sailing Fiala's submarine. He is needed. He seemed to be in the background for book one. He was barely mentioned. And in book two? Not much of a helper. He is someone who people need now. I think he deserves that. He deserves to be recognized for his accomplishments. I think, while Petra seems like the main character, Tomik is very important. He has magic. People seem to forget that. Petra seems to ignore poor Tomik and focus on the thief she befriended not her oldest friend. (Which is not a good move for Petra.) 
I didn't like Petra and Neel's relationship. Where is it from? Why doesn't the 'old friend' win? I mean...I adore Neel as much as the next reader, but I don't see the relationship. They barely know each other anyways. Where is the chemistry? I felt like there was nothing there. Yeah. You had a mental link. What now? It seems like just physical attraction here. Sure. They robbed the Cabinet of Wonders together. What next? In book two, they didn't do much together. They were apart practically the entire time. So why is there a relationship? I rooted for that in the beginning, but I think Petra is being an impulsive teenager without thinking. She really needs to examine her relationship choices. 
The ending. Oh man. That was rushed. Really rushed. I felt like it also didn't give enough. The ending is...boring. You're left with too many questions. What happens next? Who is king? Neel? Does Petra end up as queen? And the way things were resolved. Oh my goodness. Too quick. Rodolfo just conveniently lands on a sword? How... No. That's not possible. Why is there no showdown? No fighting? No revenge? And the Bohemian army up? No. That's not how things work. There has to be other generals, not just the one. The ending made me feel like nothing happened. It made me feel dissatisfied.  
I felt like this book didn't give enough story time to just one character. I like multiple narrators, but I want more Petra or Neel or Tomik. I got a description of what happened but not exclusively in one person's point of view. I wanted to see things through just one person's eyes this time. Maybe with some point of views from other people. Maybe it will be focused on Neel. Since he's king. Or Tomik! I would love that. I prefer Tomik now, even though I preferred Neel in the first two books. Tomik really seems to grow. Petra. Man. She just turns me off. She is more sour and reckless in this book. I really had high hopes for her. And she just failed all of them. Is this how teenagers are these days? How...disappointing. 
Petra at the end. Oh man. She really annoyed me at the end. She was back to being whiny. It was as if losing her magic lost everything she was amazing at. I mean...she's reckless throughout the series, but the Choice just tore me apart. Wasn't there a better way? I don't know...maybe just saying yes to marrying him and convincing him? Or poisoning his drink if you said yes to marriage? Come on, Petra. You can do better. I know you can. I swear...she's more whiny in this book's ending than I can handle. And mopey. Really mopey. I can understand that losing your magic might devastate you, but you have to keep going on. After all, that indirectly caused your father to come back to you. Be happier, Petra. Be happy in general.  

Sunny with a light fog 

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