Roshaun - 4 stars
When we first met Roshaun, he was an obnoxious prince with very little care about anyone around him. Or so he seemed. While he never really changed much, the more we learned about him and the world he comes from, the easier it was to understand him. And it's kind of hard to hate a guy who loves lollipops that much.
Of the three central characters here, he's the one whose Ordeal we knew nothing about prior to this collection. It was fascinating then to go back to a time prior to when we met him and see what he was like as a kid and how it was like for him to grow up in an environment where daily assassination attempts against the royal family are treated the same as picking up the mail. Unsurprisingly, the Lone Power tempts him with the opportunity to get away from it all, and Roshaun's Ordeal becomes a particularly interesting game of subterfuge.
Mamvish - 2 stars
I wasn't sure what to expect from this, except that Mamvish had been a favorite despite not knowing very much about her. We knew already that the LP never showed up for Mamvish's Ordeal, so I wasn't surprised to see this was the shortest story of the three. I was surprised that instead of telling us the story of Mamvish's Ordeal, we got a mythical telling of Mamvish's birth and youth as she goes on a quest to fix her world after the LP ravaged it.
The world-building here is both extremely imaginative and frustrating. Aside from the gross out factor (the Tuawff are forced into cannibalism to survive the extinction-level event caused by the LP), it just doesn't make a whole lot sense. The mythical style of the tale gets repetitive fast and large chunks of time go by without much of anything happening. Mamvish goes on this epic quest to become the best, strongest, fastest and smartest Tuawff ever so she can fix her planet, and the way the story ends we have no idea if she does or even if she ever attempts it.
Disappointing, disjointed and not very appetizing. I admit, I skimmed quite a bit of this one.
Ronan - 4 stars
In contrast to the other two, we've gotten to know Ronan over several books in this seres and we knew a good deal about his Ordeal already from when he told Nita about it in A Wizard Abroad. This then becomes more about seeing the specific events, including the parts Ronan left out, and how exactly wizardry works differently for Irish wizards. It was a joy to see Ronan have so much fun with the Knowledge as he's first experiencing it, and of course there was the One's Champion and the LP playing an ongoing tug-of-war over Ronan's fate as both tried to influence his choices - and it wasn't always easy to tell who was goading him which way either. ;)