This is a pretty decent post-modern fantasy book with some great world building. It plays with the protagonist trope quite well. But the Narrator! Good Lord! I had to fight to get past the first hour, then had to grit my teeth to get through, even though the story had me hooked right away. Read it instead.
As this book switches perspectives between two characters, the decision to split the performance between Mr. Clark and Mrs. Masters was great. With Bernard's well established Vlad laying the foundation, Mrs. Masters 'Keira the Thief' takes off.
Athyra is told from the point of view of a Teckla boy just entering manhood. It is interesting to see Vlad from someone else's point of view for a change.
The Jerheg, Rocsa is performed admirably - she doesn't translate into words and Mr. Clark does a good job conveying the reptilian brain at work.
I was first put off, then enthralled by the change of perspective. Throughout the series reader's have seen the Dragerans through a human, 'easterner' perspective. The subtle difference between them and humans comes to the fore as we see the main character not as what he is to us but what he is to them.
(Please disregard spelling mistakes as audio books do not lend themselves to writing out fantasy names and races).
I have been waiting and waiting for this to finally come out in audiobook. And just in time for summer! Great writing - a bit overwrought, but in a good way - like a blend of MAR Barker and HP Lovecraft and Gene Wolfe.
I got these in book form on a lark when they came out and have gotten most of my family and friends to try it out. In that same spirit, I am writing a review so that someone out there will also give it a try and like it.
If you like Joe Abercrombie, Brent Weeks, or any of the new school reflective fantasy (as in fantasy more reflective of our real world - its what I call it anyway), I suggest you give it a try.
Lots of Characters and intricate language, do yourself a favor and find the printed book's character list and lexicon appendixes online somewhere as a companion to the audio version.
This book is important. I can tell just be reading it. I should have read this years and years ago. My entire mood has been thrown off by this book. I find myself really beside myself. I pride myself on getting things. I have to try so hard to get this book it makes me mad. Compelling, confusing, colossal. Three words that really sum up the series. How can I explain any better? Read it, and judge for yourself.
I was worried. I am a known sucker for any sort of 'assassin' book, especially fantasy ones. This one started out and I worried even more. It seemed flat and stale at first, like I had heard it all before. But slowly, slowly the book got its hooks in me. The story is there but it is not told in a straight forward manner and I wondered if there was more to it. There is, just keep going. It turned out to be a pretty great character piece, more akin to, well...
The comparisons are there to be made. Not that it doesn't have a unique voice, but they are there:
Pick out any of the really good 'gritty fantasy' authors out there and the comparisons come pretty easily.
I expected this to be a guilty pleasure, and it is but now I feel more like its a guilty 'treasure'.
Bought the second one, and will review it, too. If you like some dark, dark fantasy then give it a try.
One thing missing from the reviews is that this is NOT the third book in the series, but rather the start of a second trilogy, in essense the 4th book. The third book isn't available by audible, as far as I can tell.
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