third-wheel romantic hero

bizarrely, the Melbourne City Library only has books 2 and 3 of Juliet Marillier’s trilogy The Bridei Chronicles. I went ahead and borrowed them anyway.

Book 2, The Blade of Fortriu, made for some odd reading for 2 reasons.

1. The central romance is a love triangle, but the romantic hero of the book as a whole was definitely Faolon, the guy who doesn’t get the girl.

He’s the kings spy/assassin/right-hand man who has no past and no emotions. Then he has to transport a “spoilt princess” up north to marry a barbarian, and he falls in love; his careful, unfeeling shell is broken open.

The feeling that he was the romantic hero worked in that I liked him best, so I wanted more of his pain and angst. But it made the romance element of the book quite unusual – and also a bit difficult to read, because I naturally wanted to invest in the guy who got the girl, but was always held back by my preference for Faolan. It made the romance a frustration at times, rather than a pleasure.

It all pays off in book 3, but more of that in another post.

2. The characters from the first book have quite a major plotline, but because I wasn’t at all invested in them (and found them quite boring, to be honest) I just skim-read those parts of the book.

That’s a first for me, and equal parts liberating and terrifying. Liberating, because I didn’t spend hours of my time tied into something I wasn’t enjoying, and terrifying because if you can just skip over parts, why read anything at all?

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