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Elizabeth Kerner
book cover

Book 2 of Tale of Lanen Kaeler
2000, December, Tor hardcover

Who recommends: Linda
Who discommends: JW, Barbara

The first book I've been able to finish in a long while, and what a disappointment. I've been taken in yet again on the series that leave you hanging thing. (I think I'm going to have to give up on fantasy, especially since I can read so little these days anyway.) I absolutely loved Kerner's first book, SONG IN THE SILENCE, so I went ahead and bought her new one, THE LESSER KINDRED. In hardcover. What a waste. The first book came to a satisfactory conclusion, tho' with lots of room for more to happen. This one simply stops in the middle of the adventure. I really hate buying a book and then finding out that it is only part of an incomplete set.

I still really like the characters, but I doubt I'll be reading any future efforts. I know I won't be buying them in hardcover.

The only good thing is that B&N.com; lets you return books to the stores, which is what I'll be doing with this one.--JW (18 Jan 01)

Bummer!! I got a friend that works at the library to specially order this book, so when it comes in I'm going to have to read it right away. Was the only reason you didn't like it because it left you hanging?? But otherwise was it really good??

I read, I think at the publisher website, that her third book is coming out in the near future. Maybe this is why. It's REDEEMING THE LOST and is supposed to be released in June.--Linda (19 Jan 01)

Otherwise it was pretty good. There were more POVs than in the first book, which is not a positive for me (I prefer a narrow focus) but it didn't distract me enough to not enjoy the narrative -- except that it so obviously left the reader hanging. I think that is (1) a cheap trick and (2) lazy writing.

I much prefer series where each book has a clear conclusion (not all loose ends tied up necessarily, but a natural stopping point). Failing that, I want clear labeling warning me that I have to have all 3 (or 4 or 5 or whatever) of the series to get that feeling of completeness. (Book 1 of the XYZ Trilogy or something like that.) Depending on how mad I still am, I may or may not read the next book, but I won't be purchasing it. I make it a rule never to allow an author a second chance to "cheat" me like that.--JW (19 Jan 01)

Just finished this book and it kept me up til 4am in the morning reading it so that about says it all.<g> I highly recommend it and loved every minute of it. It was just as good as the first one!! Still a great plot, lots of action, wonderful writing, very romantic and great characters. Love meeting the new dragon (one of the Lesser Kindred) and having her story in it. It was very different in how Kerner used so many POVs but I actually ended up loving that. It made me get to know so much more about all the characters and I came to love them all. :-) Lots of new things going on that are immensely interesting. I almost dreaded getting to the end after reading JW's reaction but forwarned is forarmed. Kerner managed to tie up several things and left one hanging, but I'm not as upset as JW was. I guess because I'm just so confident that all will come out right.<g> Or maybe because I was expecting it. The ending in Hambly's last book and S.L. Viehl's second book were much more shocking and upsetting. This is a must read. Can't wait for the next, which won't be too long.--Linda (05 Feb 01)

I just traded my copy of THE LESSER KINDRED in at B&N. I did debate whether or not to do so, because I liked a lot of things about it, but I decided I just am not going to continue to support authors/books with those stupid keep-you-hanging endings. In some ways this one is worse than others I've come across simply because it is easy to see, structurally, how it could've come to a nice, neat conclusion. So the leave-you-hanging thread appears to have been put there solely for that reason -- to get to to come back for the next installment.

What makes me most unhappy is that I know it works for the majority of readers, so my preference for "completion" is never going to take over the marketplace!--JW (05 Feb 01)

Make that a don't recommend on THE LESSER KINDRED. Uh-oh, it ends on a very, very serious cliffhanger, where things are obviously set up for the next book. Of the two so far, I like SONG IN THE SILENCE the best.

OTOH, if you're not looking for a happy ending, this is a better book. A big nasty "F" for putting a label for which person we will hear from next. And everything is told in first person. There are probably a total of ten points of view in the story. At least a POV is *maintained* for a few pages so it is annoying but manageable.

Back to my point...I say THE LESSER KINDRED is a better book because the emotions that are conveyed are very intense. We start out with our hero Varien, he who was once the Greater Kindred Akhor and he who fell in love with our heroine Lanen on the Dragon Isle. When last we left our h/h, they made it back to the mainland with her true father - who planned dastardly deeds with her soul - a virtual vegetable after the batlle on the Isle.

The first third of the book is somewhat slow. Back at the homestead, we settle in, ride, see to the horses, and Varien becomes accustomed to lacking claws and enormous bulk. There are a few tender scenes, we have h/h adjusting to their lives together. Of course, nothing can be left the same - it seems a Mage is taknig up where Lanen's father left off and needs Lanen's body and soul to seal his pact with demons.

Back on the Dragon Isle, things are also not going so well with the last remnants of the Greater Kindred. And we meet Salera of the Lesser Kindred. But while it sounds like there is a lot of jumping around - which there is - the pieces start coming together about 2/3 through the book in one of the best scenes I've read. We have action, danger, loss, joy, sorrow...all continued in the next book. So pick up the paperback and put it in your TBR pile until the third one comes out. Then read the last two together. You'll enjoy the Greater and Lesser Kindred - and hopefully in the next book, we'll solve the problem of the Lost.--Barbara (28 Dec 01)

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