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Skirmish (House War Series #4)
     

Skirmish (House War Series #4)

4.6 16
by Michelle West
 

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When Jewel ATerafin returns home from the war on the South, she arrives moments too late to prevent the demonic assassination of Amarais ATerafin--the Terafin, head of House Terafin.

And though one of her companions, Lord Celleriant of the Winter Queen's court, manages to slay the demon, it is too little, too late. For now the battle to become The Terafin and claim

Overview

When Jewel ATerafin returns home from the war on the South, she arrives moments too late to prevent the demonic assassination of Amarais ATerafin--the Terafin, head of House Terafin.

And though one of her companions, Lord Celleriant of the Winter Queen's court, manages to slay the demon, it is too little, too late. For now the battle to become The Terafin and claim the House Seat will begin.

Four candidates have declared themselves, but Jewel, the Terafin's own secretly designated choice to become the next head of House, has yet to announce her intentions. While some seek to intimidate Jewel or recruit her for their own bids, others begin to gather around her: her den, the most loyal of House Terafin's Chosen, Haval the dressmaker, powerful magi, and three mysterious "winged cats" who come to her in the midst of a deadly encounter in a forest not meant for mortals to walk.... Jewel does not want to make any decisions before the Terafin is laid to rest.

But as the enemies of House and Empire mobilize, it becomes terrifyingly clear that everyone -- including Jewel and her otherworldly allies -- must survive the three days of the funeral rites before they can even be certain that there will be a House Terafin left to fight over....

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"House Name is lush, richly intricate, heartbreaking in its subtle dealings with Jay and her den. Jay is charismatic, deeply compelling, and her story kept me rooting for her.... The story sucked me in and didn't spit me out until the very end.… West has a brilliant hand in detail, in weaving in background to fuel the story without being clunky and boring, and in creating a luxuriously textured world that is at once familiar and strange. Some say Michelle West has been propelled into the ranks of George R. R. Martin and Robin Hobb—I say that she's been there all along and it's about time she was noticed as such."
— Night Owl Reviews

"[City of Night] is a super action oriented investigative fantasy in an incredible world as Michelle West makes her empire and capital seem as if it comes from ancient history books rather than her imagination. The cast is strong especially the lead couple who are clearly devoted to one another with each wanting to keep the other safe. However, it is the city and its undercity that spellbinds the audience as no one knows what is coming to the surface from below."
— Alternative Worlds

"Fans of award-winning Toronto fantasy writer Michelle West will be delighted with this return to the vivid and detailed universe of the Sacred Hunt and the Sun Sword series…. In a richly woven world, and with a cast of characters that ranges from traumatized street kids to the wealthy heads of the most prominent houses in Averalaan, West pulls no punches as she hooks readers in with her bold and descriptive narrative."
— Quill & Quire (for The Hidden City)

"This is a compelling story with riveting and finely wrought characters that will keep you up well into the night. This story will go down as one of the best novels in its genre, propelling West into the ranks of Robin Hobb and George R.R. Martin. It's simply a great read, don't miss it."
— themaineedge.com (for The Hidden City)

"Ms. West is able to develop in the reader a true sense of emotional connection to the characters.  These are people who've been in my life since the late '90's and, like George R.R. Martin's characters, they feel like family.  I'm much closer to Sagara's characters, but that's not surprising since that emotional attachment and the growth and development of the characters is central to the story of struggle.... I loved this book, as I've loved all of her books.  If you're new to this kind of writing and have read George R.R. Martin's series and enjoyed it, I highly recommend these books." 
— Chaotic Compendiums (for Skirmish)

Night Owl Reviews
"House Name is lush, richly intricate, heartbreaking in its subtle dealings with Jay and her den. Jay is charismatic, deeply compelling, and her story kept me rooting for her.... The story sucked me in and didn't spit me out until the very end.… West has a brilliant hand in detail, in weaving in background to fuel the story without being clunky and boring, and in creating a luxuriously textured world that is at once familiar and strange. Some say Michelle West has been propelled into the ranks of George R. R. Martin and Robin Hobb—I say that she's been there all along and it's about time she was noticed as such."
Alternative Worlds
"[City of Night] is a super action oriented investigative fantasy in an incredible world as Michelle West makes her empire and capital seem as if it comes from ancient history books rather than her imagination. The cast is strong especially the lead couple who are clearly devoted to one another with each wanting to keep the other safe. However, it is the city and its undercity that spellbinds the audience as no one knows what is coming to the surface from below."
Quill & Quire (for The Hidden City)
"Fans of award-winning Toronto fantasy writer Michelle West will be delighted with this return to the vivid and detailed universe of the Sacred Hunt and the Sun Sword series…. In a richly woven world, and with a cast of characters that ranges from traumatized street kids to the wealthy heads of the most prominent houses in Averalaan, West pulls no punches as she hooks readers in with her bold and descriptive narrative."
themaineedge.com (for The Hidden City)
"This is a compelling story with riveting and finely wrought characters that will keep you up well into the night. This story will go down as one of the best novels in its genre, propelling West into the ranks of Robin Hobb and George R.R. Martin. It's simply a great read, don't miss it."
Grasping for the Wind (for The Hidden City)
"I am glad I read it. It is out of the ordinary for a fantasy tale, and is a Hamlet rather than a Henry V."
Chaotic Compendiums (for Skirmish)
"Ms. West is able to develop in the reader a true sense of emotional connection to the characters. These are people who've been in my life since the late '90's and, like George R.R. Martin's characters, they feel like family. I'm much closer to Sagara's characters, but that's not surprising since that emotional attachment and the growth and development of the characters is central to the story of struggle.... I loved this book, as I've loved all of her books. If you're new to this kind of writing and have read George R.R. Martin's series and enjoyed it, I highly recommend these books."
Dear Author (for Skirmish)
"I really enjoyed this book. I’ve been waiting a long time to see what happens after the events covered by The Sun Sword and finally, we have it."
Publishers Weekly
Jewel ATerafin returns home too late to see her mentor alive, but not too late to follow her as ruler of House Terafin. She collects magical allies and servitors: immortals Celleriant and Avandar, the white stag called the Winter King, and three giant, infuriating, talking winged cats. With the help of her den-siblings and a few other friends, Jewel battles threats to her House and city while negotiating hazardous political waters. The magic feels truly magical, luminous and confusing. Unfortunately Jewel’s lack of conscious control over her powers often makes her more deus ex machina than active heroine, and the magical creatures upstage the human interactions that were at the heart of earlier books. West capably handles the shift, which almost feels like a change in genre, but for fans who liked the House War series as “mannerpunk” more than epic fantasy, that may not be enough. (Jan.)
Library Journal
A demon from the Undercity has assassinated the head of House Terafin, the most influential of the Essalieyan Empire's ruling houses, and candidates for the vacant position now jockey for advantage. Jewell Markess, the strongest candidate and the late Terafin's personal choice as successor, prepares to announce her entry into the political arena, despite attempts on her life by demons seeking to control the surface lands. The war between the Undercity and forces of the Empire that had been building in previous volumes of West's panoramic epic (The Hidden City; City of Night; House Name) now breaks out in full force. VERDICT Strong characters, a resourceful heroine, and detailed world-building make for high-quality fantasy that should have a broad appeal, particularly for fans of Kate Elliott and Mercedes Lackey.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756407773
Publisher:
DAW
Publication date:
12/31/2012
Series:
House War Series , #4
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
672
Sales rank:
431,227
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Michelle West is the author of three interconnected series: The Sacred Hunt duology, the six-volume Sun Sword series, and The House War novels. She has published numerous short stories and fantasy novels under her maiden name, Michelle Sagara. She was a two-time nominee for the Campbell Award. She works part-time at BAKKA Books, one of Toronto's larger bookstores, and writes a column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. She can be contacted via her website, michellesagara.com.

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Skirmish 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
ElizabethT More than 1 year ago
First you need to know if you are interested in this series or this book that Jewel the main character is featured in another series called The Sun Sword series in between books 3 and 4. The experiences are not necessary to read for you to continue the series but it does make it easier to understand where all the new characters come from and some of her memories that she recalls. I highly recommend this series and this author. I love her writing style and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michelle West is the kind of writer that every time you read one of her books you will understand a little more of the rich tapestry of her world with all of it's complicated layers and subtle nuances. It is not a stand alone book, you have to at least return to the beginning of the story arc, but you will miss those nuances if you don't go the beginning and the beginning is so very entertaining it is worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love these books. Love the story being told and the way West weaves so many characters and plots together. Can't wait for the next book, and the next series for that matter.
Gaviota More than 1 year ago
The whole series, like all others Michelle's books, is exceptional. I highly recommend the whole series. In Battle the characters we have come to love and expect so much of them, jump to the forefront. Much is known and discovered, Jewel knows she is moving to a newer stage of her life to achieve what is expected of her. Her band of friends, like her, achieve a higher level of maturity and responsibility. It's one of those books that you want to read and read, and never put down, But you finish it to anxiously wait for the next one. Be alert, once you finish it, you must read it again, and again.
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raylion More than 1 year ago
This si the continuation of the series and really the start of new content for Jewel and her den. Up to now it has been a more thorough biograpghy of the character, now we have new content, starting from Jewel's return from the Southern sands. This book finally delivers a mature Jewel. And her acceptance that she has power and growing into the role of being a power. If you like watching the creation of God-like characters this is it. The most enjoyable pieces of epic fantasy to me is reading on how God-like characters grow into their power. How a legend can be created. Of what events happened that lead to whispers down the halls of time that are legends a thousand years later. Jewel, will be remembered for some time and this is but the tip of her story. BTW: the cats are pretty cool.
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JWMB More than 1 year ago
I read everything I can get my hands on by this author. Detailed and cohesive story lines that just keep you glued to the pages. Too bad Barnes & Noble didn't think enough of it to actually stock it in the store.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of action and unexpected outcomes!