I didn't have very high expectations going into this book because I'm not a fan of dragon fantasy. Dragons have been done to death, and I usually avoid them. However, His Majesty's Dragon turned out to be one of the best fantasy books I've ever read/listened to.
Novik blends historical with fantastical seamlessly. It felt like listening to one of the Master and Commander or Richard Sharpe books. Novik got her history right, and so the fantasy feels so... real.
Dragons are the air force of the 19th century. This idea is so well thought out in this book that I am starting to wonder if dragons really did exist... Don't hesitate to listen to this if you're a fantasy fan. And of course, Simon Vance is wonderful as always.
On the surface, The Red Knight is an epic fantasy about a troop of mercenaries hired by an abbess to hunt monsters. There are a lot of awesome, huge battles, lots of exciting action, and the best tactical descriptions I've read in fantasy. It's an excellent beginning to a series. Dig a little deeper--not much, honestly--and you find its a retelling of sorts of Arthurian legend. Miles Cameron deserves all the success for this novel.
Some parts of the story are imperfect at best. There are too many point of view shifts... or at least they happen way too quickly. And the world building is strange at times--a version of Catholicism is alive an well in this secondary world. If you can get past these annoyances you'll enjoy what this tale has to offer. It certainly left me wanting more.
If you're an epic fantasy reader you won't want to miss this one. If not, this probably isn't the book to introduce you to the genre. Start with Sanderson.
I'm not sure why this book is titled the Daylight War. Don't want to spoil anything, but the plot that this title refers to doesn't really go anywhere in this book. This was disappointing. And lots of backstory was rehashed. This, too, was disappointing. It would have been more true to the story being told if this volume had been titled: The Daylight Porn, but I'm getting off track...
Despite my complaints, I still enjoyed most of the hours spent listening to this book. No, the overall plot doesn't advance much. It didn't in book 2 either. I'm not sure why Brett is writing this series this way, but I'll reserve my judgement whether this is a good idea or not until the end of the Demon Cycle. If you're a fan, yes, buy this. If you're new to the series, I'd say wait until the fifth and final volume is released. You'll deal with a lot less frustration if you take my advice.
Yes, it ends on a cliffhanger. In fact, the ending almost jumps up and down with its own "clever" cliffhangeriness. I found it annoying. It seemed the story would have been better served with another hour or two to close this portion of the tale. Oh well. Authors have their artistic freedoms.
I liked it. I hated it. Which feeling will prevail in the end? I don't know. Give me a few weeks to think about it. Faults and all, you can't deny that Brett is a talented writer, and his characters are truly interesting. Just please, please, Mr. Brett and co, take this story somewhere in book 4.
I've waited a week after finishing the book before writing my review. Mostly to digest everything and get my thoughts in order. This book has been a long time coming, and it was quite a relief to finally have the ending. That said, I honestly can't recommend this series to anyone new to it now that I've read/listened to the ending.
There are many reviews that talk about how intense A Memory of Light was. I didn't feel this way at all. Why? Well, I'd be spoiling parts of the story if I said why, which I won't do. I'll just say this: the characters in The Wheel of Time have faced danger too often. They've been in too many situations where they've survived. This has made it so I felt zero tension throughout this book, despite most of its pages being covered with battle after battle. The series was defeated by its own weight and buildup. Too bad.
Brandon Sanderson did a great job. I believe he did better than anyone other than Robert Jordan himself could have. All the flaws in this story are Robert Jordan's, not Sanderson's. There were detailed notes for this ending which Sanderson followed. Thought this was worth pointing out.
If you have read the series for years, yes, buy this. You have to. But if you're new to the series, and have been into more recent fantasy, The Wheel of Time probably won't be worth your time. It feels too simple when compared to other series right now. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there it is.
There wasn't a whole lot of Knights of Malta in this story supposedly about them. The author seemed more concerned with soap operaish side stories. Save your money.
The problem with downloading this book has been fixed. I have been waiting a year and a half for this one and I can finally listen to it! Thanks Audible for getting on it.
I will rate the book better probably after I've actually listened, but I had to rate it to write this.
I re-downloaded as some of the reviews suggested but the length of the parts was still screwed up--part 1, 19 hrs; part 2, 1 min; part 3 1 min. While it was like this yesterday and wouldn't let me download, I tried downloading anyway and the parts came out at the right length, despite saying the wrong lengths in my library. Once I have the book opened in iTunes the parts are: part 1, 6:44:50; part 2, 6:21:14; part 3, 6:49:01. Not sure why it still shows up with the wrong lengths in my Audible library, but it doesn't really matter now that it is working.
Thanks, Audible, for fixing the problem so quickly. My actual review of Red Country will be forthcoming...
This is a great book. The characters are deeply drawn, the world vividly painted. Michael Page as narrator is superb. I can't believe this is Lynch's first novel. I can't wait to see where the series goes.
If you like epic fantasy, you'll love Lies. There is a content warning, however: lots of explicit language, and plenty of violence. Lies is written in the vein of Martin or Abercrombie.
I thought the first book in this series was quite slow. Royal Assassin doesn't break that trend, but for whatever reason, I didn't mind it as much this time. Fitz is growing up, and the story is getting much more interesting.
The best part of Royal Assassin is the political maneuvering. There's a lot less assassinating and a lot more vying for influence. Readers expecting fast-paced assassin ought to avoid this one.
The narrator is superb, the writing masterful. I only wish that it had been ten or so hours shorter, as I think it was padded with too much unimportant description and scenes. However, I still really enjoyed this book, and recommend it to any who love high fantasy.
Throne of the Crescent Moon is a pretty good debut novel. I thought the characters were great, the plot fun, and the world a nice change from medieval Europe. The magic is the weakest part of the book, because it seems to be used too easy by the characters, with little or no cost involved. The plot is straight forward and predictable, but entertaining.
The gem in this book is the narrator. I've never listened to a Phil Gigante performance, but I can say he is among the top narrators available on Audible.
If you enjoy sword and sorcery fantasy Throne will be worth your credit. I only gave it 3 stars because I felt it was a bit empty when all was said and done. I like my fantasy with a little more meat to it, but I'll be listening to book 2 when it comes out.
If you're a fan of the Mistborn series, The Alloy of Law won't disappoint. I think it's the best of them so far. The plot moves along much quicker than Sanderson's usual books, and I feel that his style is more suited to this. His prose has never been amazing, but his stories are always exciting.
The Alloy of Law is a blend of a western, detective novel, and fantasy. I was hoping for more of the western, but was quite satisfied with the gunslinging fight scenes.
Wax and Wayne are perfect foils for each other. While their humor seems a bit forced at times, they are charming, and truthful. A near-perfect Sherlock/Watson duo. If you're a Sanderson fan, you know you'll already get this one. If not, you might become one after listening.
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