Eryn is restless, unnerved by the Order’s demands and her own urge to do something useful. Thus an expedition into the woods to teach the herb gatherers in the city how to provide her with acceptable goods seems just the thing to do to pass the time until the new healer’s place is ready for use. Ten peaceful days of collecting plants far away from the city. Or at least that’s the plan.
What I liked: As much as I loved the first in this series, The Order, Commitments is another engrossing read. It’s long and detailed and advanced the storyline.
I really enjoy how the characters have different agendas and how each one tries to find a way to get the other character to do what they want. The politics in this fantasy world are sometimes funny and sometimes frustrating. Eryn seems to lose on all counts as she’s more up front with what she wants and how she goes about getting it. Everyone else has an agenda to manipulate the other person. I especially like how the King and Enric play each other to get their own way.
Eryn sometimes drives me crazy because she reacts too quickly in certain situations to understand she’s being played. She doesn’t realize the consequences until it’s too late to change the outcome. That’s part of what I like about her character. Once she realizes she’s being led where the King and Enric want her to go, she accepts it and doesn’t whine about it too much. All the other characters try to teach her how to turn situations into her benefit, but she’s stubborn and a bit unwilling to play the political games everyone else is playing.
The trip Eryn and Enric undertake deals with a similar but more advanced magical culture than Anyueel. All the magicians, with a lot of them being female, have talents they can share with the “old kingdom”. It’s just a matter of how open Eryn and Enric are to learning. Of course, the new contacts don’t want to share every advantage they have as they need to keep the trade lines open.
While there are many new things to learn about the other magicians, the most intriguing thing to me is learning the complete backstory of Eryn. Ms Donaubauer, tackled Eryn’s background in ways I did not see coming. The addition of the new characters was fantastic. Most everyone is glad to get to meet and learn more about Eryn but there are a few that definitely make her uncomfortable.
What I didn’t like: There were a few times the story was a bit slow. (I’ll make a caveat here. While in the middle of reading Commitments, I was very sick, so my patience level wasn’t exactly up to par). Not slow enough to stop reading but enough to make an impact on my enjoyment. There were some editing errors that I didn’t find in the first book. They didn’t stop the flow exactly but I noticed them.
I honestly can't wait to see when the author is going to take this series next and what's in store for the characters!