It is hard to write a review of something that took me so by surprise. We've been taught that something of ourselves is brought into play when a story has been shared or experienced, be it written or in audio format. If something of the story resonates with me then I normally find the story and the experience to be a good one.
With that said, I thoroughly enjoy this story.
This story brought back memories of Slavic and Baltic exchange students I'd known. Not the "Otherness" part but the everyday human part.
For me, Sergei Lukyanenko, has given us a story where the events in our heroes (both Light and Dark) lives are part of 9 to 11 ball pattern in juggling.
... and at some time or another he has thrown a ball either so high that we forget that it was in the pattern or pocketed the ball when we weren't looking, and when the time is right; pop, there is another ball in the pattern.
That the story is engaging, for me, is the best way to put it, not always comfortable and sometimes very hectic, but never chaotic.
And very beautiful ....
... but then your idea of beauty and mine may very well be different, and then again, that very difference is an important theme, voice, lyric in this story.
I hope this helps.
First, what for me, detracted from the story..
1.) A couple of instances between Azoth/Kylar and Master Blint where our story-teller re-hashed the underlying motives of both characters as to why each was feeling or reacting as they did.
2.) Maybe a little more cultural history, and flat out geography, (maybe I wasn't paying attention - for those of us who actually are ADD ;-), as to the layout of this kingdom would of fixed this world a little better in my mind.
Other than that ... I was dropped into this wonderful, terrifying world and loved it.
Why I liked it ...
1.) With the mix of cultures, the story-teller's use of names hinted at and/or delineated the characters and made them real for me.
2.) His weaving and mixing of the Old World, Yakuza, and maybe even a nod at the Tongs to create a world where a "Durzo Blint" and a "Kylar Stern" could exist. (Before rabid perfectionist jump on the word Tong, it isn't PinYin, Wade-Giles or Yale.)
3.) As an ex-Grunt, there wasn't an MOS that didn't have it's own special vocabulary e.g. 05H, ditty-chasers, 98G, dingy-lingy, so it wasn't so hard for me to jump from "wet-work" to "wet-boy" without any difficulty or sexual insecurities on my part....
What made it funny ....
"Humping the bridge"....
Hope this helps, Q
I have the pulp version, and loved it, looking forward to the next up in the series...
I stumbled onto this story because of Holter Graham, whom I now believe to be a present day Cyngael. A convergent story-line is difficult at best, but Guy Gavriel Kay weaves a mystical reality and brings it home with honest characters. The end result is a magical story that is as elegant and beautiful as Celtic knot.
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