- Warders: Vol 2 by Mary Calmes
Warders: Vol 2 by Mary CalmesHot
Book 1: Sinnerman
This was one of my favourite stories in this series so far.
I loved Jackson and how he embraced the sweeping darkness and the meltdown from Frank's cheating. He didn't let his Warder brothers try to tell him that he couldn't be angry or hurt, though I was surprised that the whole 'cheating boyfriend' theme was being revisited again. This is the third story where it plays a big part in the overall story arc.
““I guess I shouldn't have worried,” Raphael said beside me.
Book 2: Nexus
This is, perhaps, the second best story in all the series (with Sinnerman taking first place).
Again, there was the issue with 1st person POV not being informative enough – a theme that is persistent in all the stories of this series. Unless you can remember each character by name and their association with the others in the story, then it takes far too long to learn who the 1st person POV is actually from. This one took 3 pages for us to get Marcus' name. Though knowing that it was a warder who was a lawyer helped point me in the right direction, it takes far too long to find out who the POV is for, even taking until page 2 for us to find out it's Joseph's warder mate.
““A warder has to be able to return to his hearth and home to be cared for and find sanctuary and draw power. I understand my role, and it's as vital to me as it is to you. I love you and I know my value. But I can't leave my family in danger, and I know you can't, either. So let's handle this and then go home so you can fight alongside your brothers.”
Book 3: Cherish Your Name
This was a fantastic little snippet of an action packed Christmas.
““How do you like Christmas cookies?”
The series, as a whole (putting Volume One and Two together) is not cohesive. Some stories are better than others, but there is a persistence of theme, style and method which does bring it together in writing terms. When it comes to feelings, I waver too much to ever buy the entire set on paperback, for example, but I'd come back and read individual stories again in the future. I think the unanswered questions I was left with at the end of some stories, while others were nicely rounded up and taken care of, was the real problem. I never did get to find out how Jael got on with Diedre, what happened to Mitch and Kyle, the cheaters; did Frank go insane?; if Malic would ever forgive Rene and what exactly had happened with him anyway, after that break up with Frank?; whether Kyle or Eric ever learned their lesson or paid for their crimes; if Winters did have history with Julian or not; or if Hayden really was suitable for becoming a warder's hearth.
I do love the message that each story puts across, though. Not everyone who does bad things is truly evil and not everyone who is good, can't be cruel. Appearances aren't everything and no character is ever what they first appear, even the good guys.
The 1st person still bothers me. Unless you can remember each character by name and their association with the others in the story, then it takes far too long to learn who the 1st person POV is actually from. If someone accidentally picked up one of the individual stories out of sequence, there is no guarantee they'd understand the hinted correlation of names and figure out who the POV belonged to. Though the warders situation is explained in each story, the plots right from book 1 are far too intermingled and connected for them to be comfortably read as stand alones. These last 4 stories in particular have a running plot arc that wouldn't make sense if read out of sequence.
However, as a whole, I really enjoyed the series and the stories. Each one was an adventure and I'd happily read more.