I loved the first book. Really. But then I got to the second, and I was a little concerned. The story was ok, but it started doing what a lot of good series writing does...get melodramatic in the middle.
By the time I got to the middle of the third, I almost stopped listening. I wondered if it was the same writer. The reader is good, so it could have simply been poor direction in a production of decent writing. I don't know, but something sent the whole thing off track.
The ending redeems it somewhat, but then, I didn't like how the Wolf turned out.
Only, a few this bothered me. The story is told by a character who is a father retelling it to his children. The kids would complain about the sex. All of which was fine, until I started thinking and noticing the level of detail invoked in some of the recountings. That's when things got off center for me. Nothing wrong with sex. Nothing terribly wrong with gratuity if one must. Nothing even with a father educating his children. But when he explains why he's adding such details, he tells them it's integral. Whether or not the protagonist placed his hand on her bum is integral? Again, I don't mind that it happened. The explanation, however, didn't fit the level of detail, and that eventually highlighted EVERY instance. I found myself thinking too much about it.
Also, the system of power was cool, but seemed unrefined. Obviously, one need not focus on such things to write a great story, but the manor and rate of the lead's growth in his ability seemed...a little...convenient. That might be too harsh, but near the end I couldn't understand how the lead was figuring things out. Likely the author knows where he's going, and perhaps our narrator and family dropped hints, but that's how I experienced THIS book.
Otherwise, the story and players are RIFE with conflict! Some may find it melodramatic at times. And there were a couple turning points near the start that had me shaking a furrowed brow, but nothing unbelievable IMHO.
I do look forward to the next. There are diamonds in this story, and I will try the other series.
I don't know how I'd missed this, but I had. I actually found the recommendation for it on another, personal review site, which, too, would have been missed were it not for my recent draught of work from known authors. I persisted in my search for a new author, and realized that author might not actually be new. I found him.
The reviewer warned all that the first book would be hard to follow. Indeed, I was told the story might be incomprehensible until well into the second book. I must admit having been put off at first. A great deal was happening. I felt like a styrofoam cup in the middle of a river that had recently burst its banks, a wild, torrentuous ride which could ultimately only affect me by crushing me to pieces.
However, nearing the end, I felt completely in-the-know. Of course, having already generally resigned myself to accepting that which cannot be known, likely had a great deal to do with that. Were there still unanswered questions? Yes. Did I understand the many plots? No. But I was enjoying the story, and I had a firm grip on what was happening *now*, and thoroughly enjoying that I''d no idea what was going to happen next. I didn't actually know how rare that was until this book. I thought I'd experienced it, but not fully.
I'm also told this series is quite large. Normally, that would excite me, but I'm actually a little afraid that I've entered a world much larger than Westeros, and that it might be too big. Right now, I love what I don't know, but it seems highly possible that I won't ever know a great deal.
However, I'm rating this book. This one book, and it was very well done. One could argue the depth of meaning was completely accidental, but who cares how it was designed? A snowflake is a snowflake.
I have to write at least twenty words in order to submit a review ? how ridiculous... just to say very good book!
I think my headline is clear.
I don't know.
Art and craft refined, the man could make a phonebook interesting...for a while...and that's saying something.
How about a modicum, a molecule of whatever fire lived in the author when he wrote the first book?
No. I understand sometimes the business of writing gets in the way of the art, but craft goes a long way, too, which speaks more to professionalism and some ounce of respect for readers, especially dedicated followers. What I just experienced was complete disregard, disrespect, and at the end outright disdain aimed directly at me from the author.
I had the sense that every choice he made for this story was done with a diabolic laugh, solely intended to disappoint the reader. Seriously, I felt intentionally repelled.
This was my first listen at Dotrice. I read the first books myself. I've heard great things about the reader, but I've also heard very bad things about his reading of this particular book.
I'm in total agreement with the detractors, but for different reasons. Most of the existing complaints were regarding the lack of continuity in character voices between the first three and this one. I don't have that history, but I can certainly say that Dotrice, and/or his director (if there was one) put about as much care into his performance as the author did.
I couldn't tell most of the characters apart. He did do some voices, but they all sounded like variations of the same three elderly people. The only difference being some were toothless, some were, well phlegm-y, and some were toothless and phlegm-y.
I really hope Mr. Dotrice is doing OK health-wise. I could easily see something like that having affected his performance, and it wouldn't be fair to allow for it. Whatever his condition, I did not enjoy this reading. I had to listen to a lot of the sections several times just to figure out who was talking. A lot of that is on the author, but not all of it.
Sigh. All of them.
This was much better than I expected, and I did expect a great deal. There were a few minor annoyances with characters, but they couldn't be helped as their trajectory had been set long ago. Still, my first statement stands. Thank you Mat for all the laughs, and thanks Mr. Sanderson.
This is definitely an adult series. It does revisit some typical fantasy themes - I even see a bit of Vader and Luke between Durzo and Kylar - but it is very well written and the story is constructed in a very original way.
I also like his magical system. I've not encountered the like. I'm not sure I understand the details, but it isn't really about magic anyway. It's about the characters and the story within which they unfold.
I only gave performance 4 stars, but it wasn't because of the reader. He took some getting used to for me, but I did come to realize he's very talented. The performance has more to do with certain dramatic choices, which I attribute to direction. The accents of the characters are all over the map. It got confusing sometimes until I realized I can't attribute a particular accent to a particular kingdom or people. It's really trivial, but it did distract me sometimes.
Apples and oranges.
I liked them all in the end.
The very last. It should have been predictable, but wasn't.
You'll have to cast me in it first!
A touch of Ambercrombie. A touch of Sanderson. A touch of Salvatore. A touch of Feist.
This would be a somewhat limited pool of works as most of my reading in this specific genre I do for myself. Among all epic fantasy I've consumed, this is one of my favorites.
As rhythmically gritty as Mamet. As triumphantly tragic in the struggle of the human condition in a universe the too often teeters towards darkness as any Shakespeare I've read. As action packed as any Summer blockbuster, and often uncomfortably naked is the violence therein.
Those of us observers who felt that the ending left them
There were many, but I held off from writing this review just to see what would stick with me. Ironically, it's something I didn't expect because it disappointed me as I read it, and I find I like it now for reasons that I wouldn't have expected. It's the scene when Biaz discovers his apprentice is really his former love, now undead, very powerful and seeking vengence. Particularly, it was learning, which for me was the first time, that Biaz might not only be completely full of s--t but may also be a mad meglomaniac.
That scene made me think a great deal - a great, great deal.
There were two. The first was when Glokta was trying to propose. The second was when Glokta unexpectedly gave hope to Jezal at the end that he might find some way eventually to act as king.
Not much at all to not like about these books in my opinion. I did gently grow tired of the
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