MeiLin Miranda’s Son in Sorrow picks up a year into Temmin’s supplicancy at The Lovers Temple. He is now nineteen years old and has picked up many skills for reading and manipulating people; however, the Heir is struggling with an inappropriate exclusive love for Allis, the Embodiment of the female half of the Lovers, Neya, which affects both of their abilities to perform their required duties. Outside the Temple, the political intrigue hinted at in Lovers and Beloveds takes center stage as various individuals and groups, both inside and outside Tremont, begin power plays to take control. Not all of them harbor love for the monarchy either, which could destroy the very world the nobles long to protect. Sedra, Temmin’s eldest sister, also takes center stage as a political pawn as King Harsin finally moves to create alliances through a royal marriage, but his intelligent, strong willed daughter may not be as biddable as he anticipates. The political machinations and Temple issues spiral together in the strangest of ways, leaving Temmin feeling even less prepared for his responsibilities as Heir to his kingdom.
While the sexy times take a secondary role in Son in Sorrow, this novel is still for mature readers. The types of issues presented such as graphic miscarriage could be disturbing for many readers. The frank discussion and exploration of sex and sexuality does continue through this installment of An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom, there just are fewer sex scenes overall when compared to the first book; however, some of the consequences of sexual activity do end up having important ramifications for the plot.
What I Liked:
The political intrigue hinted at in Lovers and Beloveds finally starts to be important in book two, and there is a lot of it! It seems like everyone who isn’t in Temmin’s immediate family wants a piece of the Antremont pie. I almost wanted to take the various characters and stuff them in a locked room, so we could have a cage match. Let the best political intriguer win!
MeiLin’s descriptions continue to be strong, and I loved feeling like I could almost step into her world.
Sedra gets even more development in this volume since her political marriage takes a major position. Nothing is finalized by the end of this volume, but this smart, classy young woman has choices presented to her that open a world of possibilities.
Ellika gets a chance to be more than a silly girl! She had character development in Lovers and Beloveds, but Elly’s main role in the family was as the fun-loving, shallow sister. The events in SiS reveal a forceful and devoted side, and I admired her by the end of the book.
The attempt to mend Ansella and Harsin’s marriage hit me hard. I wanted to see them learn to be happy together again, and Harsin’s overtures to his wife seemed genuine.
Mattisanis serves a purpose beyond being Temmin’s first near sexual experience! As Harsin’s illegitimate daughter Mattie is important to some of the people intending to overthrow the current monarch.
Lasanna’s story from Teacher’s book felt more fully plotted than Emmae and Warin’s tale, which I enjoyed. I have to admit that I also found Lasanna a more sympathetic character than Emmae in general, which added to my impressions.
What I Disliked or Just Didn’t Work for Me:
Son in Sorrow is a lot more serious than the first book, which threw me off at first. I understood the change as I read through the story, but it wasn’t exactly what I had been expecting.
I actually missed all of the fun sex from Lovers and Beloveds, which surprised me quite a bit. The sex scenes presented clearly held a necessary place in the plot, so it wasn’t quite as lighthearted; however, like the serious tone, it all makes sense by the end of the novel.
I found myself really disliking Temmin’s ancestor Temmin from Lasanna’s story by the end of Teacher’s tale. I understood why he made many of his decisions, but I fundamentally didn’t agree with them. Fortunately, current Temmin and I seemed to share similar thoughts!
Son in Sorrow is a great addition to MeiLin Miranda’s Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom series. It takes the story in a darker direction, but there is no plot without conflict, especially not in a fantasy setting. All of the characters are poised to grow, change, and affect the world around them after this installment, and I look forward to book three!
4 Whithorse Emblem Cufflinks out of 5
Information about MeiLin Miranda and her works is available at www.meilinmiranda.com.