12/08/2004 Entry: "CLOSE KIN by Clare Dunkle -- Enjoyable, Uneven (Margaret)"
I read CLOSE KIN, by Clare B. Dunkle, a couple of days ago and agree with Preeti. I enjoyed the book but don't think it actually had a plot. Each thread was fine but they didn't really braid together.
I expected the Seylin/Emily thread to be the main one but it lacked depth. I would have liked a bit more about them before the proposal scene--I expect the author knows what's been going on in the six years since the last book but we don't, although some bits are filled in later. However we do get some idea of Seylin's character--what sort of man (goblin, elf, whatever) tries to propose to a woman who is entertaining a group of children? I felt that the relationship was based less on love than on Seylin's infatuation and Emily's not wishing to lose a dear friend.
The Sable thread had much more depth and dominated the book. In this book we actually meet Elves, which really reinforces the message of the last book that beauty does not equal goodness, intelligence or kindness and that, correspondingly, ugliness does not equal evil, stupidity or cruelty.
I enjoyed the scenes between Marak and Kate--it was nice to see how they were getting on after seven years of marriage.
The last chunk was very strange--it came out of nowhere and led nowhere. My feeling on reading it was "this will lead to Trouble!" so I presume the trouble will eventuate in the next book. Which is rather strange, now I come to think about. If I can see trouble, surely Marak could as well so why didn't he do something about it? Perhaps, as was shown with his dealings with Kate's uncle, he doesn't have much understanding of what humans will do if really pissed off.
This book was enjoyable but uneven. More intensity in the Seylin/Emily relationship would have helped balance it.--Margaret