"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I found myself enjoying this title the more the title progressed. It was one of those books that tends to build so smoothly up to those points of sheer action. Also of specific note is the growth that one is able to witness in the general writing style of the author. The way Christopher Paolini seems to tackle certain issues in this book as opposed to book one (Eragon) also lent to the book being even more enjoyable than the previous.
Book 2 of the Inheritance Cycle is your typical mythical fantasy novel. I couldn't help but notice slight similarities with Star Wars regarding some of the twists that the story takes. That being said, I found the entire title put together very well. In this book you get a glimpse in the lives of the elves and see as Eragon himself grows into an impressive Dragon Rider. Another great addition to this story was Roran, Eragon's cousin, whose own struggles and quest becomes even more challenging and exciting than Eragon's it would seem. A number of new characters were introduced in this title and it would seem that no one from the previous novel was forgotten either, all reappearing in some form or another through the scope of the title.
The narration grew on me throughout this book. You sometimes forget that it is one person doing the narration even though there are so many distinct voices, tones and intonations in the title. The narration in this case only adds to the title here.
Truly an impressive listen all over. I look forward to listening to the third book in this series.
I am without words.... This book is just epic! I am still reeling from the captivating storyline and the amazing narration! This is what mature fantasy literature is all about, it is magical and yet feels so realistic. The vast array of characters are engaging and beautifully developed. The characters age so realistically in the book and the many sub-plots and intertwining leaves you just wanting more and more. The narration is so spot on I can't think of anyone else that could do this book any more justice, Roy Dotrice, you are just plain great. This was one of those books that you CANNOT stop listening to. I mean I listened to this book non stop, going to bed some UNREAL hours because of it. I am so impressed, so so so impressed!
I understand what everyone else have to say about the narration by Roy Dotrice. That being said I wasn't as disturbed as others were. The difference in Arya's tone is poignant yes but it isn't that mind boggling to understand. He still has that ability to capture you and after the original... shock, you once again are able to ease yourself into the book and the wonderful narration.
George R. R. Martin keeps twisting the story all over the place... As with the other books you WILL find parts of this book that leaves you saying 'Why?!', 'Seriously George?' and 'No!!!' You do see where these happenings seem to fit in the overall plot but at this point I am almost afraid of continuing to listen the book (not that I will actually stop) because I am concerned as to who he might kill next or what other twist he might throw in my face. At different points in the story you really don't know who is the bad guy/woman and you honestly don't know who to trust. At this point I am just saddened by what's going on with the Starks in general and I don't see where or how they will truly recover. I am honestly at the point now though that I would really want the good guys (whoever they are) to actually have a happy ending and the bad guys (again whoever they are) their just rewards.
Overall a great listen and a necessary listen if you are into mature fantasy literature. Just... prepare yourself.... This one too is shocking....
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
Extreme vigilante justice plus flawed characters plus violence and depravity = this book. This is not a bad thing either... if you've read others in this series, this book has the same 'tone' and the same lack of moralizing, even when you might want some morals to reorient yourself from the depravity. Bravo Mr. Abercrombie for writing such a dark fantasy with flawed characters we can actually care about. That, I think, is the biggest catch here - the characters are horrible people, but we still care what happens to them... odd.
My only complaint would be that it is so long. I prefer to be able to finish a novel in a timely manner, but there is a LOT of story here. The story is pretty straightforward: main character seeking revenge. But there are 7 people with whom she needs to get revenge. And each of the 7 get their own story - complete with setup, conflict and resolution - then the next person is sought out and revenge is obtained. So it flows like 7 novellas, plus an overarching setup and resolution. I might have preferred to have, say, 5 people on which to seek revenge - I am not sure what the additional victims brought to the table (i.e. once you see revenge taken on 5 people, what does adding 2 more give you? Not *more* satisfaction, just... more violence, and perhaps a different way of killing someone - and a super long novel.)
You probably don't have to read the earlier books in this 'series' since this one really does stand alone. And if you have read, and liked, the others, you should like this one about the same amount... other than the fact that it is a bit (100 pages or so) too long for its content, which slows down the pace of the story. The ending is nicely resolved and we find out what happens to all the main characters... there is no cliff hanger.
It is full of foul language, graphic violence and there is even some detailed sex to fill out the gambit. I have bought the next one in the series. The narration is excellent.