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Jaran, An Earthly Crown, His Conquering Sword, and The Law of Becoming

Mar 22, Kathy rated it did not like it. In a few words : a sequel that doesn't scale successfully and I mean, I get this is some sort of white woman hetereosexual fantasy but it has a lot of Issues What : Kindle library loan Why : riding on the high of reading the first book in the series As a caveat : I haven't read the third book in this series yet and I know the book was originally split over two volumes. So I'm reserving some judgement based on that there's still a lot of valid complaining to follow. Worldbuilding flavour : light!


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Light as In a few words : a sequel that doesn't scale successfully and I mean, I get this is some sort of white woman hetereosexual fantasy but it has a lot of Issues What : Kindle library loan Why : riding on the high of reading the first book in the series As a caveat : I haven't read the third book in this series yet and I know the book was originally split over two volumes.

Light as hell! The first book introduced this interesting galactic backdrop but only touched on it, which is fine, in lieu of establishing and focussing on all the nuances and details of the culture and lives of the jaran told through an outsider character, experiencing and learning in tandem with the reader, like a romance novel wrapped up in a ethnographic study. But this book just feels like it's retreading the same and painting broad strokes over the rest it attempts to introduce, scaling up and adding a heck ton of new characters from all sorts of cultures, but having them just react to each other and fumble around appropriate practices without any real meaningful conflict?

Also, am I one thousand pages in this series and barely know anything more about the super interesting Chapallii and intergalactic empires and rebellions? We get a barest glimpse of a birth and a female and otherwise characters are wholly uninterested in them except to note from time to time their opaque alienness. The huge, glaring : whiteness of it all. This is true of the first book as well, but when you have so many more characters coming together and having cultural conflicts, it just becomes so much more obvious how flawed the approach is.

A lot of SFF stories posit that humans are post racial, post gender, post whatever and then draw on real world and historical racial dynamics with their fictional "othered" group as a stand in. The jaran find the other people of their planet which mirror cultures of the human's past to be barbaric and unclean in turn. An ambassador is from a highly patriarchal and misogynistic kingdom and this purposefully contrasts to the matriarchal society of the jaran that allows for female sexual autonomy.

The have slaves! Women have sex for money! Women veil themselves when in public! People pray with their heads touching the ground! I wonder what culture this is intending to invoke and criticise. But the jaran are not malicious to the unfamiliar, we're told, they are intrigued by it.


  1. An Earthly Crown (Jaran #2) (Paperback).
  2. The Novels of the Jaran?
  3. the spiritual emancipation of the God gimme... brigade: Praying according to Gods will!
  4. Sometimes, a story will let you know there are actually a couple characters of colour in their fictional world by calling attention to their physical traits, but what that only makes me realise that so far, everyone else has been overwhelmingly white. When only one person's skin colour is described, then that means everyone else is the default.

    Not even getting into the problematic equating of blackness to dark coloured skin. There's a couple moments given to the jaran's reactions to non-white members of the human visiting party. I'm not sure what the reason is--to show off the benign nature of their reaction to the unfamiliar, or highlighting their isolation and ignorance. Nonetheless, the confusion about dark skin for dirtiness that doesn't wash off and the mocking of the eyelid shape of one of the East Asian characters are both things that have baggage in our culture and presumably so for the human characters.

    But this is presented as harmless, quickly glanced over. I know I wouldn't be able to use the same throwaway plot device, not at least without a lot of context given. And curious that only characters of colour are othered in this way! But a mousy brunette girl is so alien and exotic to these alien barbarians, even though there's this continued obsession with beauty and not being beautiful and I'm not going to talk about the threesome.

    I could have really done without : a bunch of straight characters "poo-pooing" the one non-straight character in the group because apparently they knew better than he did. And lament that the characters might be better off dead! Cool cool cool, in this future, humans are self righteous about some things, but not enough to make a stance for what is right against a cultural and technological interdiction that they also don't care enough about to honor most of the time if it's inconvenient for them.

    Ahem, Tess, why are you putting your husband under potentially life threatening medical procedures without his consent, holy shit! Sep 25, Kerry rated it it was amazing Shelves: reread , read-pre-tracking , 10 , , ebooks , rereads-in , sf. I really, really enjoyed this one. I was actually a little surprised at how much and I just bumped it up from 4. I remembered it well, but thought I hadn't liked it nearly as well as Jaran. This time, this one has sneaked ahead. The first time, I went into this book, expecting it to be "all about Tess" like the first one had been.

    This time, I remembered that the world expands and it all becomes much more of an ensemble piece from here onwards, so I I really, really enjoyed this one.

    This time, I remembered that the world expands and it all becomes much more of an ensemble piece from here onwards, so I think that helped, as I took the time to immerse myself in the stories of the other characters and not just hang out for the Tess and Ilya bits. They are only part of the story from here out. Thomas very kindly agreed to let it stand, as it is part of the ongoing story which is about space empires, rebellions and other suitably space opera stuff. I'm glad, as I'm running out of month and didn't really want to try to tackle another huge book. I remembered they were in here, but I was a little cautious about how they played out, given the book was first published in Happily, I felt that the answer was "well done".

    I recently reread another book Silence in Solitude published in where I had the same concerns and the same answer. My feeling in general is that both authors did a good job looking forward from where they were at the time in terms of sexuality, and the only failing is that both books seemed to be pretty binary gender-wise, only considering male and female gender options, whereas now, we acknowledge humanity is more varied than that.

    I nodded and figured if the authors were writing these books today, they would have considered gender as well. I certainly didn't need to cringe, like I did with The Big Jump. This is really only half a book, as the story was too long and it was published in two volumes. My goal is to read His Conquering Sword by the end of the year.

    There is one more book after that, and while the stories told are complete and finished, sadly the entire arc was never written.

    A few years back I saw Kate Elliott comment somewhere that she thought she'd solved the plot hole that had stumped her at the time, so I keep hoping. Jun 10, Quailtale rated it liked it. If you liked the worldbuilding of Jaran and want some more of the sideplot, you will find some of that here. Mostly it feels a bit like set-up for the next book rather like some of the middle of Wheel of Time. I don't mind long books and tend to find the length a virtue, but this is not going to be fun for the impatient!

    An Earthly Crown (Jaran #2) (Paperback) | Tattered Cover Book Store

    I can see a lot of interesting directions for things to go from here though. Aug 07, Tessa in Mid-Michigan rated it really liked it Shelves: scifi , xxx-violence-or-sex , aliens , political-intrigue. This one was good, but it got into sex a lot more, with homosexual and three-way relationships and adultery. This plays a large part of the plot towards the end. If the next book continues so, I won't keep reading. Dec 02, Megan rated it it was amazing. Nov 02, Quinn Barbuta rated it really liked it.

    Really enjoying this series so far. Some difficult questions in the background and a great portrayal of different cultures meeting and sometimes clashing. Mar 03, liz rated it it was ok Shelves: female-authors This was fine I guess, but it really dragged.

    Jul 26, Talie rated it liked it. Good sequel that begs you to continue the series. It would not really stand on its own. Feb 03, Jedi Kitty rated it it was ok Shelves: romance-theme. This is half a book in terms of plot and progress, but dragged on for what felt like two!

    I know it's a "part one", but still! There's hardly any plot arc whatsoever, just steady forward movement To what ultimate end we have almost no more hints than were in book one. Things happen, new characters are introduced But why should I care? What is at the heart of this book?

    The Novels of the Jaran

    You would think the book would be driven by Ilya's conquest- but the conquest is merely a backdrop for foreigners to react This is half a book in terms of plot and progress, but dragged on for what felt like two! You would think the book would be driven by Ilya's conquest- but the conquest is merely a backdrop for foreigners to react to. It could also be driven by Tess and Ilya Maybe we'll finally see the "cool" but revolutionary great man of the era- Charles in action?

    Not so much. How about this new literal cast of actors brought to a foreign "barbaric" planet? Will they spark some new action? Again, not really. The closest we get to the actors is through the eyes of ingenue Diana, an immature woman trying to deal with a new situation- she grows, maybe- but also makes choices that made me lose respect and grow bored with her. She's a less interesting heroine than Tess, for sure. The relationship that stands out most is a slightly twisted third party that comes between Ilya and Tess.

    In book one, I fell in love with Tess and Ilya's story, with the difficult dynamic of Tess and her brother's relationship, and with the even more complex dynamic of three hierarchical words layered in secrecy from each other. In book two, we see very little change in the status quo, and we live in the same world but with a bigger cast. I didn't really care much about the new characters.

    I like Tess and Ilya for their flaws, but a whole cast of messy humans with confused desires and prejudices started to become less fun. Also, there is no additional world building. We don't learn more about the alien overlords. We don't learn more about the jaran. We don't delve deeper into gender dynamics or the issues of artificially protecting the planet's culture and independence, it is all familiar ground from book one!

    So much is left unresolved, and the final two scenes drove my enjoyment from three-stars to two-stars. The ending was abrupt and gave no closure, which was maddening because there was almost no climax or payoff for so much reading! I didn't realize it was the ending when I got to it- I was shocked I couldn't turn to the next chapter- the real conclusion! I would never retread this book because there are no particularly heart-wrenching or heart-warming or exciting scenes to return to.

    Apr 20, Abby rated it liked it Shelves: futuristic-sci-fi. If you loved Jaran, you may want to give this book a chance. It has the same brilliant world-building and fantastic, fascinating characters. The plot moves right along, and readers get to learn more about Tess' brother Charles and a few more people from that circle.

    Knowing the Jaran culture from book 1, you will experience hilarity as you watch outsiders try to interact with the tribe and get completely confused. An Earthly Crown had the feel of a book two - quite a bit of suspense building and If you loved Jaran, you may want to give this book a chance.

    An Earthly Crown had the feel of a book two - quite a bit of suspense building and setup for the future, so it wasn't quite as amazing as the first book, but enjoyable nonetheless. That's the good stuff, and if it were just that, I think I'd have given it a four.

    ISBN 13: 9780886775469

    I will warn you that there's quite a bit of homosexual content. Kate Elliott is pretty obviously sending a message with the fact that the more advanced humans from space are much more open about having non-traditional relationships than the Jaran are. I got the impression that she was saying they're more evolved, and in a good way. That's for the reader to determine for themselves, and to me, it was unpleasant. Still, there was nothing graphic, and that alone probably didn't affect the rating as much as I'll put it as vaguely as I can the "dynamics" of Tess and Bakhtiian's relationship at the end of the book.

    I'm supposed to believe that this relationship, this burning, passionate, soul-searching, soul-mate relationship isn't exclusive? All of book one, we are being convinced that for Bakhtiian, there is no-one but Tess; for Tess, there is no one but Bakhtiian. And then Kate Elliott slaps me with this! With Tess and Ilya, there is not room for three. Not now, not ever. Frankly, I was a bit disgusted. Jaran 1 was amazing, and it can stand alone. Book two may not have thrilled me, but I will most likely continue into book three with the hopes that something changes.

    If not, I may not finish the series. May 25, Milly Jones rated it really liked it. There is a lot going on in this book. At times it felt like there were too many people vying for your attention, so that you couldn't get emotionally invested enough in any of them. It was a bit disappointing following on from book one of the series, which had been so all consuming. The book is really only part one. So it ends with half a dozen story lines all in a mess.

    The lack of any sort of conclusion is really disorienting. I don't really like it. Even if you are conyinuing the story, at lea There is a lot going on in this book. Even if you are conyinuing the story, at least something should have resolve! The thing I found most disconcerting was the final chapter with Tess, Ilya and Vasil in it. It made no sense. You can see that this is something Vasil wants, and he has manipulated to get his way.

    But it makes no sense for Tess to capitulate. She should hate Vasil, why would she find him desirable at all? And is does Ilya so powerless around him. You get the sense that they are just capitulating to Vasil's emotional manipulation, but this is not something they would have ever wanted or will do them any good. The only one who is happy is Vasil, but it's a selfish happiness, not giving anything to Tess and Ilya. I don't like it. But then maybe this too will be resolved in the concluding book.

    It's well written, engaging, and I truly did enjoy it.


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    • The Novels of the Jaran: Jaran / An Earthly Crown / His Conquering Sword / The Law of Becoming;
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    Just not quite as much as the first book! Oct 12, Erica Anderson rated it really liked it Shelves: science-fiction , reads. You'll be lost, though, if you try to read book 2 without the background provided by Jaran. Tess, the heroine, has married the war leader Ilya, who is pursuing his dreams of conquest. Tess's brother, Charles, has arrived from off-planet to track down his sister.

    He brings with him, for reasons I still don't understand, a troupe of actors. Their characters were sufficiently interestin I am a big fan of Kate Elliot, and An Earthly Crown , the the sequel to Jaran , is just as good as its predecessor. Their characters were sufficiently interesting that I stopped being annoyed with their presence and just enjoyed their interactions with jaran.

    There is a fascinating development in Tess's relationship with Ilya. Although it may distress or confound some readers, I found it added another dimension to Ilya's already complex character and I look forward to reading book 3 to see what happens. All in all a compelling read with a vast cast of characters, romance, and a heady dose of interplanetary intrigue. Sep 18, Walter Underwood rated it it was ok. Only read this if you really, really, loved Jaran and want to spend more time in that world, kind of like reading all the Twilight books.

    This does not have the magic of the first novel. Tess struggles to find a place to live a peaceful life in the world full of aliens. She boards a shuttle which is bound for Rhui, in order to find a way to mend her broken heart. Rhui is one of the planets ruled by her brother, where the native people are called as the jarans. After reaching there, Tess joins the jaran people and gets immersed in their nomadic style of living. She begins to follow all the customs and rituals of heir society, while still trying to get to the bottom of deal related to smuggling, that she came across during her journey.

    After several turns of events, Tess begins to get closer to the charismatic ruler of the jaran people, Ilya. He seems to be busy with one of his own urgent missions, due to which Tess finds herself in a dilemma whether to accept her feelings for Ilya or go for the loyalty of her brother. The second novel of the series was also published by the DAW publishing house in the year Just like in the first novel of the series, she finds herself pulled between the two of the most powerful men in her life, her brother Charles and her charismatic husband Ilya Bakhtiian, in the second novel too.

    The two men always indulge in competing revolutions due to which Tess is not able to think which side she should choose. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, the jaran people of the Rhui planet are depicted as trying to unite the settled cities in their homeland one after the other.

    The Novels of the Jaran: Jaran / An Earthly Crown / His Conquering Sword / The Law of Becoming

    They are ruled by a charismatic ruler named Ilya Bakhtiian. Ilya married Tess Soerensen after making her fall in love with him and now has her by her side as a loyal wife. However, he is not aware of he fact that she is a human. He is also unaware of her relationship with her brother Charles, who had once revolted against the powerful Chapalii empire unsuccessfully. Even though he went on to become a duke in their interstellar system, his revolutionary intentions had not faded away.

    Now, he travels to the planet of Rhui in order to locate her sister Tes and also uncover some precious information about an insurgency that had taken place in the past. On one hand, Charles insists on making Tess join his side, and on the other hand, Ilya seems to be equally reluctant to part ways with her loyal and beloved wife. None of them consider the fact that Tess nurtures her own plans, which are different from theirs, about her future. All the three of them struggle fiercely to find a solution, due to which the fates of the jaran and human races hangs in the dark.

    If you see one missing just send me an e-mail below. Book s. The guy is a master! More Details. View Results. Kate Elliott Books In Order. The Golden Key Beschreibung bei Amazon. Black Wolves Beschreibung bei Amazon. Night Flower is a prequel story to Court of Fives. The Labyrinth Gate Beschreibung bei Amazon.

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    The Novels of the Jaran Beschreibung bei Amazon. Mitch Rapp is back! Kyle Mills continues to do a great job in this series and Lethal Agent promises to be no different. ISIS are on the warpath and are looking at sneaking anthrax into a distracted America.