Difficult Neighbours by A.C. Donaubauer #ACDonaubauer

Posted October 6, 2021 by Melanie in Book Review / 9 Comments

Difficult Neighbours by A.C. Donaubauer #ACDonaubauerDifficult Neighbours by A.C. Donaubauer
Series: The Order #7
Published by Indie on June 28, 2020
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 683
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Travelling up north to Pirinkar in order to find out who is behind the attempt on the Queen’s life, Eryn and Enric face the challenge of adapting to a culture hostile to magicians. What’s more they have no allies apart from Ambassador Erbál, and even worse they always need to keep in mind that it’s not safe to trust anyone, be they priests, noble families or government.

The only one willing to assist them is a person they would much rather keep their distance from. Yet time is running out, and rejecting help becomes a luxury they cannot afford for long. Not if they still want to avoid the war someone seems to be secretly plotting.

Difficult Neighbours is the seventh book in The Order series by A.C. Donaubauer. It is a fun fantasy series that follows mostly Eryn and Enric. They split their time between two countries, Anyueel, where Enric is from and where Eryn was raised, and Takhan, where Eryn’s family is from and still lives. They are very different countries with Anyueel being a kingdom with a royal leading the country. There is also The Order, which are all the magicians in the country who are trained in magical battle tactics. Takhan, on the other hand, is more democratic, but not completely, no general voting. Each house has a leader that serves on a senate. There is also a triarchy, three leaders who head up the government.

In this story, Eryn and Enric are sent north to a third country, Pirinkar, (these are the only three countries mentioned in the series so far). They are trying to avoid a war between the countries. Eyrn and Enric are to find who is responsible for a crime committed in book six, Royal Straights, which is much easier said than done, as Pirinkar likes seclusion and secrecy.

The first half of this book was a bit slower for me. I missed all the characters that I loved from Anyueel and Takhan. We also had to watch Eryn and Enric tap dance around the silly protocols required by Pirinkar culture, like how they always address each person with their full names and titles, such as “Gistor Maltheá, Reig of House Vel’kim, Explorer in Takhan” (Maltheá was the name Eryn was given at birth) and “.Lord Enric, Reig of House Aren, second in command of the Order and senator in Takhan”

Pirinkar also has a hatred of magicians, and Eryn and Enric are both in the top five most powerful people we’ve met in the series so far. Pirinkar treats their magicians as second class citizens. They force them to become “priests” and are not allowed to have children. The priests are forced to made to heal others in town with magic. They are also forced to prostitute themselves, though that can vary depending which group of priests the magician is part of.

I really loved the later part of the book. We start to get to know some of the priests of Pirinkar. And we get back to Takhan as well. The book ends in a great place, not really a cliffhanger, but leaves you wanting more. I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.

I have to say that the characters of this series are what keeps bringing back to the series (and also why the beginning wasn’t as good for me, since we had so few of the characters). All the characters are very well developed with wonderful stories around each and every one. I also think the overall story across the series is a lot of fun too. I’m always glued to these books when I have started one on my kindle. I do recommend that you read the series in order, as each story builds off the previous story. These stories can be on the long side, but I never notice once I start the book. I always feel like they are too short when I make it to the end. Like I said, leaves me wanting more. I can’t wait for book eight to be released, though I have no idea when that will happen.

I highly recommend this series to people who like fantasy stories with lots of characters. I’m now seven books in and I haven’t rated a single one below a 4.5. I’m always eager for another story to read. I could even see myself rereading this series, though I haven’t done that yet. Maybe, while I’m waiting on the next book.

About A.C. Donaubauer

Author: A.C. Donaubauer

A.C. Donaubauer lives in Vienna, Austria and works as a translator and as a trainer in adult education. While in the first thirty years of her life her literary ambitions were limited to the occasional satiric poem or short story, this changed for no other reason than that inspiration suddenly struck.

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Posted October 6, 2021 by Melanie in Book Review / 9 Comments

9 responses to “Difficult Neighbours by A.C. Donaubauer

    • I did enjoy seeing the other culture more. And I did get some of my characters back towards the end of the book. I hope there will be another book out soon.

  1. The charatcers do sound really well done. That always keeps me interested in a long series- if the characters hold up.

    • The characters in this series are so amazing. And I know exactly what you mean about characters not always holding up in long running series. I was just talking about that with a friend.