He was sitting there where she had left him. He had the cup upon his knees. There was water in it, and he peered into the water as if to see something that moved there. He did not look up as she approached. So she dropped the flower into the bowl under his nose, and knelt beside him to kiss him on the ear. He was startled. Then he laughed. His fingers picked the flower slowly out the cup. […] “How are you?” he asked gently. “Better,” she said. “At least for a while. I want to tell you that you are wonderful. And wonderful things happen, as well as terrible things. And when we die, all that happens is that they stop happening.”
– John Dickinson, The Widow and the King
I have finally gotten around to reading “The Widow and the King”. I don’t read much anymore; I just can’t concentrate anymore. I tend to go through phases where I read a lot, and then I read very little. In a way if there was one thing I miss about commuting is that it was, in a way, one of my main reading times. However I’ve not been feeling well this week, which meant a lot of not doing my work and lazing around reading instead. Not good for my studies, but good to finally get through my rather large to be read pile. Anyway.
“The Widow in the King” is the second in the medieval trilogy, following on from The Cup of the World. Like its predecessor The Widow and The King took a while for me to get into. I loved Ambrose, and I adored the glimpses of the old characters like Phaedra and Aun, but Sophia was insufferable. I hated her. I read on, hoping she’d be like Phaedra- spoilt and entitled at first but growing into a mature and admirable person. She kind of did. As the book progressed Sophia grew on me, and I began to get drawn into it and I admit to enjoying it quite a lot. I have cried twice, the first I did not quote so you get the second moment which reduced me to tears (though I’m not sure how this quote works out of context :/)The writing in this book is really quite lovely, and the atmosphere of the book is much like the first: dark, and sad, and painfully romantic at times. I continue to love the way the author writes his characters- with all the flaws that make them human, and believable. The book is admittedly a little slow paced, but I find I like that about it. Very nearly finished this book, and then it’s on to the final in the trilogy “The Fatal Child”. I’ll be sad to let this world go. It’s one of my favourite fantasy settings- because sometimes I want a fantasy that is not the Chosen One vs The Evil One(s), with magic and wizards and monsters.