I've been dreaded getting through just the first book because I knew it mark the beginning of a huge commitment. I finally did it. And it was sooooo good! Now I know why so many have committed to the series. Very glad I'm finally on board. Jordan is a master story teller. Kramer is a masterful narrator. Just a wonderful mix. On to the next!
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I have been looking for a great fantasy book for a while to kinda pique my interest. Something epic along the lines of a LOTR to hold me over until A Song of Ice & Fire series continues.
This was the 'fix' I was looking for and it was done exceptionally well. The character development was done very well and the storyline leaves much to be explored while giving you enough to stand on it's own. The book was also bittersweet in places but also left open ended in those same places to allow for some semblance of 'hope'. There are a number of subplots that have not been explored which I expect to be explored in the later books. You can see the influences from other books as well but it was done in a unique way.
The narration was done extremely well but to me really didn't add much to the story, It was above average though and borderline perfect. I think especially for the male voice, a better narrator could have been used.
The main problem I have with this book is how completely derivative of Lord of the Rings it is. There are way too many characters and themes that are ripped straight out of Tolkien. There's even a place called the misty mountains!
The other problem with the story is how utterly stupid the characters are. They have no personalities and have no personal desires or motivation. So you're hiding in a dark castle after running from monsters for weeks, but when a man pops out of the shadows whose name sounds like MURDER, you happily follow him into a dark dungeon at the promise of treasure? Give me a break. There is no part of this book that is grounded in reality.
I know a lot of people love Michael Kramer, but I'm not one of them. I had the same problem with the Sanderson books. His voice is gritty and monotone, he doesn't bring characters to life. Also, the switching between narrators is confusing and jarring. There doesn't seem to be any reason for a male and a female narrator, since they both do voices of female and male characters.