Wolf’s-Own: Koan

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Title: Wolf’s-Own: Koan
Author: Carole Cummings
Cover artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon Buy Link:Wolf’s-own: Koan (Wolf’s-own Series)
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 290 pages
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: The end is drawing near in these series and I still have more questions than answers.

Blurb:

After saving his people, killing the man he once loved, and losing his little sister, Fen Jacin-rei has made his way to Tambalon with his surviving brothers and Kamen Malick. But shortly after arriving, old ghosts resurface, new dangers arise, and Malick tells Fen the gods aren’t done with him yet.Fen now knows he’s a catalyst for Fate and a magnet for Fate’s players, and he’s dangerously close to falling over the edge into insanity. But tracking down the vicious creatures that have been abducting and murdering citizens of Tambalon is just as critical as dealing with past lives and legendary beings.With a threat all too close and a secret he needs to explain, Malick is at odds with those who should be his allies, and no matter how much he wants to protect Fen, it may be more than he can manage when he’s trying to keep them alive.

Review:

As blurb tells you we catch up with Kamen Malick, Jacin Rei and other members of their merry band in Tavalon. My favorite part of this book was the first few pages in the beginning where Malick reflects why he fell in love with Jacin. It is written in such a beautiful and lyrical way that my eyes were tearing up a little bit. I also really loved Malick and Jacin together –in bed and out of bed. They have such raw and powerful chemistry that very few writers in this genre can match IMO. Unfortunately I was tired of reading about a lot of the same themes going on. I thought that Jacin apparently would never stop suffering and would never acquire any agency. At the very least this is the conclusion I am forced to make after reading three books out of the four  which this series supposedly consists of. Honestly, while in the last book I felt that my emotions were too engaged and I felt and was upset for Jacin and with Jacin, there is only as much one can pile up on one character and expect me to empathize and relate to him. I guess I wanted Jacin to acquire some agency, I wanted to shake him and beg him to  start acting instead of *reacting* and try to accept his fate instead of just being a blind toy in the hands of fate and only when somebody hurts him again, he tries to give a response . His actions in the last quarter of the book gave me some hope that he started taking his destiny in his own hands, but the ending made me wonder. 

 I also had some problems with the plot of the series in general. I think I figured out why these series are slowly but surely turning out into the chore for me instead of thing of beauty despite the beautiful writing and great characters. It is book three and so much was hinted in the books about world building, about gods and their immortal servants, about a fascinating past war between two nations. I have read three books and so far I do not understand what is happening on the grand scale of things at all. If the series will contain four books, isn’t it about time to let the readers know what is this all about? Oh I get that Jacin (especially with his new powers revealed) is somehow in the middle of everybody else’s purposes and desires – basically everybody wants him  for their needs, because he is so powerful and his desires be damned, I get all that. I guess my confusion lies in the fact that I do not understand what do they need Jacin for besides “saving the Cycle” whatever the heck that means.  I mean, there was “saving Gin” which Jacin was interested in and which looked so promising in some ways at the end of  book two, but we do not see anything happened in that department at the end of book three either. I honestly admit to being very confused as to what the blurb means when they mention “saving his people” part. I interpreted what happened in book two as something on much smaller scale than what “saving Gin” was supposed to mean when it was brought up initially.  I understand that we still have book four, I do, but not feeling too optimistic at the moment.

I still love Jacin and Malick and I still think that the writing is beautiful and plots  which revolve around different people, fractions and not quite people trying to get Jacin for themselves and their Gods move quite fast, but I just kept thinking that something else would happen and it never did. I am not talking about any particular plot point, I am just wondering when the things would start moving on the grand scale in this world, when the “epic” part of fantasy would happen, if that makes sense. I fully realize that it is my subjective reaction and not the writer’s failure, but at least here I cannot subscribe my reaction fully to my emotions being too involved. I felt like something was missing, I just have no idea what.

6 thoughts on “Wolf’s-Own: Koan

  1. Larissa

    Nice review S. This series has me wondering. On the one had I want to read it, but on the other hand I don’t think it’s my thing!

  2. Sirius

    Larissa – have you read Aisling by this writer? If you did an liked it, then you will at least enjoy the writing style. I love fantasy, as you can see I am tired of main character being in constant pain, but it does not feel artificial or anything, simply I reached my limit.

    1. Larissa

      Not yet. The author is on my ever growing pile of to read!

      Yeah I hear ya. If we have to believe the m/m book world there are only gay men who are suffering!

      1. Sirius Post author

        I definitely suggest starting with Aisling and see if her style is to your taste – I loved Aisling and was so ready for more. At the same time friend on whom I pushed Aisling could not finish book one – she found the style too pretentious and flowery.

        Heh and to be fair, at least right now Jacin being a gay man really is not a reason for his sufferings, unless last book will bring some very new information of course.

  3. Eden

    Having read the whole series now, I must say that I liken Wolf’s-own: Koan to a roller coaster climbing a hill: the scenery is interesting, with the occasional glimpse of something unexpected, the pace is slow and easy, but still anticipation builds. The end of the book leaves you hovering on top of the hill. You know what happens next…

    *Ambles away, faking an innocent whistle*

    I loved the whole series. Definitely keepers, sitting on my “favorites” shelf.

    1. Sirius Post author

      I hope so Eden, I really hope that I will have the same reaction. I really want to love the series.

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