This is one of my favourites so far. I loved the way the fantasy elements blended seamlessly into the background, with the story driven by strong characterisations and intense personal experiences.
If I hadn't read that it had been translated I would have assumed it was written in English - admittedly by someone with the seriousness I associate with Russian literature.
The key traumas experienced by the lead lead character were very vivid.
I loved the gradual evolution of the relationship between the male and female leads. It was such a wonderful twist on the usual fantasy relationships.
I just don't think this book would make a film, people wanting fantasy movies would expect a lot more action and less character interaction driving the plot.
I can heartily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy as a genre but is looking for a little more depth to the characters.
Very well written.
Tolstoy mixed with Solzhenitsyn
Bleakness and Hope
Everything. A true story teller.
Well worth listening. This appears, at the beginning, to be a shallow tale of a swashbuckler but develops into something far more complex, sinister and surprising with an excellent conclusion.
I love to read. I also love to write. I'm a harsh critic and very, very, very rarely give five star reviews to anything. Three stars for me is an average representation of literature and not a bad review by any stretch.
Narration perhaps saved this book for me. I am sure that I might try another book by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko but only if it were written with a different style.
I am sure that I might try another book by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko but only if it were written with a different style. The prose of this book was absolutely brutal and dragged out. The authors were seemingly intent on finding new ways to drone on and on about what the fear within Egert was like. I got it by about halfway through the book yet the monotonous descriptions of the terror within him kept being beaten like a horse dead ten times over right to the very end and monopolized other aspects of the story.
The best scene was when Egert was dueling The Wanderer and the immediate aftermath.
In my opinion the characters are not very deep. They are more like caricatures than anything else. The lack of character depth an the nearly inevitable ending was a turnoff.Others may enjoy this book and it was not horrible, but I think it was average at best.
Say something about yourself!
The authors of this story are truly talented in their character development, and the artistry in which they weave the relatively simple, yet rich tale.
As many other reviewers have mentioned, Egert is the main character, toward whom, at the beginning of the book, I felt total justification in completely despising. After Egert murders Toria's fiance, I almost cheered when 'the Wanderer' goaded Egert into challenging him to a duel, and the contemptuous ease that Egert was beaten, and cursed. I reveled in Egert's fall into complete and utter disgrace, his shameful flight from his home, resulting in a wretched life of misery and fear.
This cursed punishment was only too fitting for the man that Egert had been.
When the paths of Egert and Toria crossed once again, I did not want there to be any chance of redemption for Egert. The skill of the writers is undeniable, as even I was compelled to begin to root for Egert as he strives to do the right thing. This struggle is in spite of the irrepressible cowardice at the dire consequences promised him, should he fail to incriminate an innocent whom he truly loves.
Jonathan Davis provided a very good narration, with dramatic (but not overly so) voices. His narration certainly added to the overall listening experience, and I would encourage you to try this non-mainstream book.
Yes. Beautiful story.
Fox. Everyone knows someone just like him. Or they should ;)
This is a Bildungsroman that should be required of all young men. "Courage is being afraid and doing it anyway" is heard so often that it's almost become a platitude. This story SHOWS what that saying means. One must master the beast inside that wants to rule the body, the animal that struggles against the higher self for survival at all costs - even to the death of the higher self, the soul. Similarly, one must also master the pride that the mind would preserve. The chest must rule the stomach and the mind, as CS Lewis said in the Abolition of Man.
To do this, Egert must lose everything, his home, his honor, and nearly his mind, and journey from his home in a militaristic city (whose library is, tellingly, in a state of desuetude) to a center of learning that's in subtle conflict with a shadowy religious sect that seeks to rule through fear and cruelty. He must master the fearful beast within to save the woman he wronged, her city, and himself by putting what "is first in his soul last."
This tale is very reminiscent of a fairytale of sorts, told in almost a classic Russian style. It's sad, but not often anymore does one find a story of manhood where men are men and women are women. The prose is hauntingly beautiful and the experience of reading it, this "path of experience," is unforgettable. I feel a little wiser having read it. It is most certainly a piece of modern literature.
The story itself is so simple, but told so beautifully.
There were many, but more than any one particular moment, it was Egert's transformation thoughout the book.
He displays an excellent range of emotion. This was my first Jonathan Davis books, and it was one of my favorites.
If I were unemployed and single.... sure.
If you're a fan of fantasy (Rothfuss, Tolkien, etc.) I highly recommend this book.
Like action, adventures, war stories, militay happenings, historical readings-fiction, & mysteries. Unabridged only! Reader IMPORT!
The book was a little hard to get into but as the characters developed it became MUCH more interesting and hard to "put down"!
It is well worth the listening too!
Sci-fi/Fantasy geek :)
Parts of this book are brilliant! I like to be surprised by books and there was certainly a good deal of that in this book. The standard "recipe" for redemption was thrown out the window and that made it much more realistic and the characters much closer to human. But, all of that takes time to unwind and I found myself sometimes just saying, "Okay, I get it, can we now move on?" But, it's kind of like watching a movie with really long scenes shot with a single camera, yes they seem long, but you really get to look all around and notice all the details.
I like the prose most of the time, but at times it does seem like a translation from a foreign language. Not enough to bring down the overall excellence, but just occasionally. But, those times serve to remind me that I'm not reading a natively English-written book and I like that!
I was a little disappointed that magic didn't play a bigger role in the storyline. People were identified as Mages and such, but all the evidence of that lurked just behind the curtain and we didn't really dip our toe into that water. I'd say that's a great excuse for another really good book!!