Okay....so how good was that?

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Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Katherine on Thu May 31, 2012 3:18 am

I LOVED IT! Best book since Bonds of Justice. Nalini did EVERYTHING right.
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by paranormalmama on Thu May 31, 2012 11:35 am

I loved it- but not in entirety....Riaz & Adria can go off into the sunset...I hope they are not a back story couple going forward. I would rather round three of Hawke & Sienna, especially with them going up against Ming as a team.

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Katherine on Thu May 31, 2012 12:16 pm

Yeah I can understand why you'd feel that way. Its kind of ironic but Riaz and Adria sort of ended up being a side story in their own book. Which was fine by me because I'm not actually a huge fan of romance. Its the world and the overall story arc that have caught and held my attention.

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Lulu2011 on Thu May 31, 2012 1:22 pm

There was lots to love but I had so hoped the mating rules were going to be clearly explained. It would have been OK with me that the explanation was there are exceptions or variations. And then provide an example of so-and-so where the woman rejected the bond and the man went on to recover and fall in love again and maybe even mate. It would have been OK to say it hardly ever happens but very, very rarely it does.

However, that wasn't the explanation. There wasn't an explanation that I can find. Dalton basically shrugs and says the territorial wars shattered everything and then gave the single concrete example of the two changelings who rejected the mate bond who were on opposite sides in the wars. But then they died and we don't know what would have happened to them. WTH?

Basically, this tells me that Riaz and Adria are the single huge exception to everything we have already learned about mating. That just left me utterly confused and wondering at what Nalini's motivation was. Maybe it was clear as crystal to her and to others but I don't get it.
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Patricia on Thu May 31, 2012 1:49 pm

It's sort of.. for me it was okay the way it was dealt with because I wasn't as invested in the couple as I was in Hawke and Sienna. I don't want to overthink my relatively neutral feelings for them, though, because something like last time could happen and I might end up dissing them. LOL

I hope Nalini will give us further explanations about the mating rules, but I actually liked it the way it was, even though I wanted to know more. It was 'right' to know that Riaz doesn't know if he'll ever get a mating bond, if he'll be able to cut the mating urge that he feels.. and STILL decide to pursue Adria.

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Lulu2011 on Thu May 31, 2012 2:07 pm

It definitely helped that I am not as invested in Riaz/Adria. That was likely very intentional on Nalini's part as she probably knew some readers weren't going to be happy with their story. It makes it a little easier to take with them being secondary characters that are likely to fade into the background.

Of course, Nalini could decide to give them the mate bond connection down the road. Especially since Hawke said it can develop out of the blue after years for some couples and Dalton says the territorial wars shattered everything and so the mating rules are maybe not as concrete as they once were. Still, I don't expect this to happen as they are secondary characters. It's just very not Nalini to have left it so confusing.
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by ferdy on Thu May 31, 2012 2:27 pm

I agree there was lots to love - Kaleb, the arrows, Mercy/Riley, Hawke/Sienna, Riley/Hawke drunken goodness.

But overall I didn't love it because of A/R/mating rules and I'm now confused more than ever about the mate/mating bond situation and not only that I now have a different view of all the past couples because had circumstances been different all of them could have very well been happily mated to someone completely different.

I especially didn't like that Riaz still had the mating tug towards Lisette, it may have been implied that it would go away but if it still hasn't gone away after him and his wolf fell for Adria then that to me it's saying that his feelings for Adria aren't strong enough to make it disappear and the only thing that can make it disappear is not his love for Adria but time..it's just sad that as much as he loves Adria it's not with all of himself because his wolf still has the tug and priimal need to be with Lisette no matter how much it's in the background it's still there and it's essentially boils down to a part of him still wanting Lisette and that feels like a betrayl towards Adria esp when there's no part of her that wants anyone else.

I read a Goodreads review and the reviewer mentioned that she was disappointed that Riaz still felt the tug and that he would be working with Lisette in the future as Hawke appointed him to interact with the human alliance and to think that when he'll be around her in the future he'll feel that tug just leaves a bad taste..the reviewer also made a good point in that Riaz said that he thought of Lisette as a cherished friend which is just what Indigo and Drew felt for each other before the mating dance.

I think I would have enjoyed it more if the mating rules had been cleared up..I'd really like to know what causes the mating tug..is it pheromones, is it biologically the potential mate will be better for reproducing with, is it freindship/trust/love, is it just something random nature just assigned, is it fate/destiny, is it because their soul recognizes one another.. It would help in understanding the mating bond better.

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Lulu2011 on Thu May 31, 2012 2:40 pm

I do feel confident that Nalini has her Heroes act like Heroes at all times. I truly believe Riaz will be completely committed to Adria and their relationship and their eventual child (which I'd like to see happen sooner rather than later given Adria's maternal instincts).

I figure the mating tug to Lisette will fade away to zero. Remember, this has all taken place with Adria over just a few weeks. Come back in a year and it's very likely he is not going to have any feelings like that for Lisette. Unfortunately, he's not going to likely ever be a character that we'll see again from his POV so we may never know for absolutely sure. And I dislike that.

I also hope that Lisette the little French Poodle goes back to Venice or Paris with her husband for her treatment and we never see her again. It would just be weird to have Riaz and her interacting if she stays as the liason with the Human Alliance. Unless Nalini is going to show us how fabulously well adjusted everyone is and has her hang around. I'd hate that since I'm just not that mature lol.
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Katherine on Thu May 31, 2012 11:55 pm

Lulu2011 wrote:Basically, this tells me that Riaz and Adria are the single huge exception to everything we have already learned about mating. That just left me utterly confused and wondering at what Nalini's motivation was. Maybe it was clear as crystal to her and to others but I don't get it.

The thing is, they didn't mate. Adria isn't Riaz's mate. But that doesn't prevent them from being deeply in love with one another, and Hawke said that he had never heard of the mating bond breaking up an established relationship.

There was a really lovely bit at the end of where Riaz points to a happily married elderly human couple celebrating their hundredth anniversary and points out that they don't have a mating bond either until Adria realizes that she and Riaz don't need a mating bond in order to be utterly committed to one another.


I do feel confident that Nalini has her Heroes act like Heroes at all times. I truly believe Riaz will be completely committed to Adria and their relationship and their eventual child (which I'd like to see happen sooner rather than later given Adria's maternal instincts).

I love that Riaz tracked down Lisette's husband and got to the bottom of their separation. How classy was that?


I figure the mating tug to Lisette will fade away to zero. Remember, this has all taken place with Adria over just a few weeks. Come back in a year and it's very likely he is not going to have any feelings like that for Lisette. Unfortunately, he's not going to likely ever be a character that we'll see again from his POV so we may never know for absolutely sure. And I dislike that.

I think we will see more of them. This story arc is getting huge and there are some things you don't send your highest ranking soldiers to do because that would send the wrong message or because it would be overkill. Adria is a senior solder...sort of like a sargeant. So there are a lot of lower level tasks that she can do that you wouldn't expect to see a Lieutenant do.

Riaz is the Liason with the Human Alliance, which isn't going away anytime soon. So I bet we will see more of them as well.

I bet Lisette will retire as Liason so that she can help with her husband's treatments.

All in all, I have faith in Nalini's writing. As I read this book I definitely felt as though Nalini had a plan and we are on course to see it through.


Last edited by Katherine on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added extra quotes and a longer response.)

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Yurice on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:57 am

I'm still in cloud 9. Though I'm greedy for more of Hawke and Sienna.

I can understand some are unhappy with Adria and Riaz's non mating, but what is confusing about the mating itself? Was it because Riaz was able to walk away from it or the rules itself?
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Elaine on Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:54 am

Love the book! I will admit that at this stage, I don't care who the 'sexy couple' is, or who will be next, as long as Nalini continues describing the psy-changeling world and the forces driving it now.

I hope the next book has "operation Ming is a dead man walking" as a major subplot! What a Face
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Lulu2011 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:46 am

Katherine wrote:
Lulu2011 wrote:Basically, this tells me that Riaz and Adria are the single huge exception to everything we have already learned about mating. That just left me utterly confused and wondering at what Nalini's motivation was. Maybe it was clear as crystal to her and to others but I don't get it.

The thing is, they didn't mate. Adria isn't Riaz's mate. But that doesn't prevent them from being deeply in love with one another, and Hawke said that he had never heard of the mating bond breaking up an established relationship.

There was a really lovely bit at the end of where Riaz points to a happily married elderly human couple celebrating their hundredth anniversary and points out that they don't have a mating bond either until Adria realizes that she and Riaz don't need a mating bond in order to be utterly committed to one another.

The lack of the mating bond doesn't prevent Riaz and Adria from being deeply in love at all and, yes, Nalini definitely pulled out all the stops to sell this HEA. Having Riaz basically track down Emil, figure out what happened between him and Lisette, and arrange for their reunion was a pretty obvious way to say to readers "look, look, Riaz is totally not interested in Lisette" and it's effective. I thought the scene with the old human couple was quite nice too and re-emphasized that Riaz and Adria can have a deep commitment without the mating bond.

However, we've been shown for 10 books prior how wonderful, how magical the mating bond is. A "brilliance of being" as described in BbF. Even in Tangle, it is consistently pointed out how the various mated couples use the mating bond to monitor each other's feelings, well-being, etc. It's really beautiful to see Hawke using it and noting the different colors that represent hiim and Sienna and how powerful it is. I really wanted that particularly for Adria given all that she's been through.

It is just odd and frustrating for me that Riaz and Adria are the ONLY example of their specific situation and no one (Dalton, Hawke, Riaz, Adria) has ever heard of such a thing happening and have no examples or really any advice. It's just very not Nalini to me! The scene with Dalton (where I thought it would all come together and make sense) was just generally confusing and didn't impart any real information. His bottom line advice to Riaz was: follow your heart. OK, great. Is that it? It doesn't make sense to me that Riaz and Adria are the first exception to the established mating rules, especially since Dalton says the territorial wars "shattered everything that should be". Apparently not, since Riaz and Adria are the only example of a mate being rejected and then finding love again that anybody (Dalton, Hawke, Riaz) can think of. It would have helped me tremendously if Dalton could have said, yes, this is rare, very rare, but it has happened in a few instances where the female rejects the mate bond and the male can go on to recover and love again and even establish the mate bond with someone else down the road.


Last edited by Lulu2011 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add more details)
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Lulu2011 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:10 am

Yurice wrote:I'm still in cloud 9. Though I'm greedy for more of Hawke and Sienna.

I can understand some are unhappy with Adria and Riaz's non mating, but what is confusing about the mating itself? Was it because Riaz was able to walk away from it or the rules itself?

Yurice, for me, it was confusing because Riaz and Adria's situation appears to be the only exception to the mating rules, where the male walks away from the pull of the mating bond and falls in love with another. We've heard for years that the female has the right to accept or reject the mating, so shouldn't it logically follow that something like this has happened before? But, while Dalton says the territorial wars "shattered everything that should be", he can only come up with the example of the two changelings who were on opposite sides who rejected the bond and then we don't know what happened to them after, if they were able to go on and recover and find love, since they were both killed in the wars. Not really helpful. So Riaz and Adria are the only example of a male being rejected and then finding love again that anybody can think of. That just doesn't make any sense to me. It would have helped me tremendously if Dalton could have said, yes, this is rare, very rare, but it has happened before. It would have made me a lot more comfortable.

I also wanted to see this linked back to Hawke's situation and explained. How was Hawke able to find another mate after Rissa died? Hawke and Rissa never mated. We know that. Lisette and Riaz never mated either. So why isn't Riaz able to move on and mate with another like Hawke did? Is it because Rissa and Hawke were too young? Is that the difference? I wanted an explanation. Did I miss it somewhere?

Also, Sienna thinks to herself in KoS that "mating" is once and forever. This seems to say that if the mating bond (the process) isn't completed then there is another chance with someone else (like her and Hawke). So, wouldn't it follow that Riaz would have another chance too, given that he and Lisette never mated, never even went into the mating dance? Hawke also says it wasn't the wolf holding him back from mating with Sienna, it was the man who didn't want to take the risk. But both Riaz the wolf and Riaz the man are in agreement about Adria. So, what's holding Riaz back from being able to mate with Adria? This is what I had hoped would be explained and wasn't.
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Yurice on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:18 pm

the way I see it, to be able to resist the bond, the changeling has to be exceptionally strong willed or stubborn, or something like that, otherwise they'll succumb to the pull regardless if the other is 'free' or not. So, I am not surprised that there is only Dalton's lieutenants and Riaz's as 'known' cases of changeling refusing to bond.

to be honest, I'm not really buying Riaz's love is true. ^^ I see it more as stubborness on his part, his refusal to renege on his promise to Adria...or to honor his commitment to her. I mean, had he made his commitment after he found out that Lisette is about to divorce Emil, I may have been more convinced that he truly has chosen Adria out of love.

I too want Adria get more than second place, because regardless of how much Riaz may profess/demonstrate that he loves her, nothing is as magical as being mates in the changeling world.

Here's what I understand about the MB.
Hawke mentioned something about perfect sync. I'm thinking this got something to do with souls. For some, their souls are in sync on first meeting - Hawke's parents, while sometimes it takes a while - Drew and Indigo.
unless this sync has taken place, there's no pull of the mating bond.

Now, not everyone recognizes their mates just by sight or instinct like Hawke with Rissa or Riaz with Lisette. Sometimes they have to enter the mating dance to know they are mates, (Luc and Sascha, Drew and Indigo)

So what is the mating dance? From what I understand in ToN, this is when the animal part makes the decision for the human...symbolized by biting for wolves. lol. Example would be Hawke and Sienna, Drew and Indy. They were driven to bite by their beasts and jealousy of course hehe. Hawke said that to fight this dance would destroy the man. Luckily, Riaz wasn't.

While the female has the last say, the male has to be willing too.

So...in Riaz and Adria's case, it's probably just a case of souls not in perfect sync. Sad
Hawke and Sienna were able to mate because, he has not mated and their souls are in sync.


I may have missed something, but ATM this is what I understand.


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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Lulu2011 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:46 pm

Yurice wrote:to be honest, I'm not really buying Riaz's love is true. ^^ I see it more as stubborness on his part, his refusal to renege on his promise to Adria...or to honor his commitment to her. I mean, had he made his commitment after he found out that Lisette is about to divorce Emil, I may have been more convinced that he truly has chosen Adria out of love.

Well, I bought into him being in love with Adria before Lisette shows up in San Francisco. I think it's likely Nalini structured it the way she did because otherwise there might not have been enough pages to go into Riaz' courtship of Adria afterwards and his relentless pursuit of her and all those wonderful things he did in his pursuit. But I get your point. It would also have been effective to have Lisette show up earlier, Riaz think she's available, but him then reject her and go to Adria.

Originally, I thought they were going to run into Lisette in Venice and I was holding my breath for that encounter. I was glad it didn't happen that early on. It was kind of interesting that it was also in Venice that Riaz and Adria's commitment to one another fully develops. Sort of a full circle kind of thing for Riaz in a way.

I also like your theory on the mating bond, about souls needing to be in sync. Hopefully, Riaz and Adria will have the bond down the road as Riaz' pull to Lisette vanishes and he becomes even more in tune with Adria. I hope. I guess what's frustrating is that this is all just speculation on our parts. Yes, I can come up with a variety of explanations that give me varying degrees of comfort but all this speculation could be ended if Nalini would just write the way she sees it in one of the books and explain it fully.

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Yurice on Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:09 pm

Riaz was just too damn honorable for me! Why can't he be more like Hawke when he said he'd steal Sienna if she wasn't already his! Laughing
Then again, I didn't like Lisette too.^^ Rosalie suddenly became a tad palatable because of her.

Ahhh...Nalini prefers her readers to have their own interpretation, you know that. Wink
That time I emailed her about twin souls, she told me that there are Easter eggs in her stories, but not all the readers will find the same one.

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by paranormalmama on Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:12 pm

Yurice wrote:Riaz was just too damn honorable for me! Why can't he be more like Hawke when he said he'd steal Sienna if she wasn't already his! :lol


exactly, lol

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Lulu2011 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:54 pm

Yurice wrote:Riaz was just too damn honorable for me! Why can't he be more like Hawke when he said he'd steal Sienna if she wasn't already his! Laughing
Then again, I didn't like Lisette too.^^ Rosalie suddenly became a tad palatable because of her.

Ahhh...Nalini prefers her readers to have their own interpretation, you know that. Wink
That time I emailed her about twin souls, she told me that there are Easter eggs in her stories, but not all the readers will find the same one.

That's pretty much what she said to me when I emailed her after KoS, that she leaves some things for readers to interpret on their own. But the mating rules? Really? I don't mind speculating about who the Ghost is or stuff like that. The mating rules seemed pretty darn clear to me before KoS and only got muddled slightly in KoS and now more muddled in Tangle.
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by ferdy on Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:45 pm

Nalini deffo needs to clear up the mating rules and not leave things open for interpreations..the mating rules is a huge thing in every book - it's basically the foundation of the changeling world.
I also don't like that Riaz has been the only one we know of that had a mate but ended up with someone else..it just diminishes the whole importance, beauty and undeniable urege of the mating bond that have been drummed into use for 10 books..it feels to me that Nalini's bent her own rules to the point of breaking just to mix things up a little and so her romances don't start to get tiresome.

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Yurice on Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:56 pm

I feel ToN made things more clear to me rather than muddle up.^^
I actually like how Nalini has presented the MB.

For me, A&R's only served to show how beautiful the mating bond is, because though they can be happy and committed to one another, they don't have that link that lets other mated couple communicate in a more intimate way. Riaz said it himself that what he has done will no doubt horrify another changeling, but he's....well, he's too honorable, or too stubborn. Which works for me. I'd hate to see committed, long term/permanent relationships broken up because one of them has found their mate. It just not who these changelings are.

Then again if this non bonding happened to Hawke and Sienna, I'll probably have no hair left now from constant pulling. Laughing

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Lulu2011 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:56 pm

ferdy, I think Hawke said really clearly too that a long term committed relationship takes the place of the mating bond. Committed couples are never split up because one or the other finds his mate. They just don't feel the pull of the mating bond.

And, yeah, I think the Riaz/Adria situation is a lot more acceptable to people since they are secondary characters not likely to get a lot of page time going forward like Clay and Tally, Dev and Katja, Max and Sophie. If this had happened to Hawke and Sienna, I'd have flipped.
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Tabitha (the other one) on Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:34 am

I was invested going into ToN. Invested in Adria at least. I felt sorry for her in PoP, being with Martin who was nasty to her in then. Reading more about the relationship she had with Martin increased my sympathies. Then her first attraction post-Martin was for a man that was really nasty to her. Then the icing on that very crappy cake--when she does fall in love truly and deeply for the first time in her life, he's got a mate. In the end, she gets the guy she loves, who loves her, but they aren't soul mates. No warm and fuzzies from me, I think the whole story is pretty sad including its conclusion (I won't call it resolved because I've got a bunch of questions about that relationship going forward)

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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Rageane on Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:16 am

"I think we will see more of them. This story arc is getting huge and there are some things you don't send your highest ranking soldiers to do because that would send the wrong message or because it would be overkill. Adria is a senior solder...sort of like a sargeant."
You are right that the seniors are like sargeants...but they are of the Master level of enlisted rank, there are lower levels of the enlisted core that still do the menial tasks...the Master's are the mentors to the lower ranks, and advisors the the officers
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Rageane on Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:24 am

Yurice wrote:
Here's what I understand about the MB.
Hawke mentioned something about perfect sync. I'm thinking this got something to do with souls. For some, their souls are in sync on first meeting - Hawke's parents, while sometimes it takes a while - Drew and Indigo.
unless this sync has taken place, there's no pull of the mating bond.

Now, not everyone recognizes their mates just by sight or instinct like Hawke with Rissa or Riaz with Lisette. Sometimes they have to enter the mating dance to know they are mates, (Luc and Sascha, Drew and Indigo)

So what is the mating dance? From what I understand in ToN, this is when the animal part makes the decision for the human...symbolized by biting for wolves. lol. Example would be Hawke and Sienna, Drew and Indy. They were driven to bite by their beasts and jealousy of course hehe. Hawke said that to fight this dance would destroy the man. Luckily, Riaz wasn't.

While the female has the last say, the male has to be willing too.

So...in Riaz and Adria's case, it's probably just a case of souls not in perfect sync. Sad
Hawke and Sienna were able to mate because, he has not mated and their souls are in sync.


If you remember when Hawke forced Riaz to talk, he also told him that there were packmates that were in a similar relationship like Riaz and Adria that had the mate bond finally appear after YEARS of being together. One day it wasn't there the next it was...who says they don't have the Mate Bond going for them? The way I see it, they are just too damaged yet for the bond to form...they need more time to heal the scars and feel truly safe to make the connection.
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

Post by Lulu2011 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:05 am

Rageane, that's what I'm hoping. Nalini said there will be more clues about the mating bond in future books and she's left it gray on purpose. She also told Fluff that the answer is in the conversation with Dalton and that you have to look to find it. I'm going to go back and read that conversation yet again but I'm going to guess that it's when Dalton said go court the woman of your choice, pup, etc.
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Re: Okay....so how good was that?

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