The book was a bit of a roller coaster for me.
For the 1st half or so I was interested but not truly captured by the story. Then it hooked me hard. But then I thought the story/plot was becoming predictable and too "safe." Then it went a whole new direction--which surprised me (and I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but it was interesting).
Another review compared it to Game of Thrones, while I see the comparison--mostly due to the multiple first person point of views and the divergent and re-convergent story lines--it has a very different feel. Enjoyable, but without the same sense of gritty "realism" for the characters, except for some distinct segments. There is a similar story arc regarding the diaspora of siblings from a family destroyed by political/military conflict set to a background of layered personal, political, and mythological conflict. There is also a similar "forgotten" history of a dark and mysterious foreign threat looming behind the story-line in the first book--waiting to be developed, I presume, in the following books.
And there are some interesting and some what unique ideas here and some great potential for an intriguing epic story.
In short: I liked it and I'm going on to the next book. It isn't yet one of my favorites, but I could see it becoming one of them if the series continues on its current trajectory.
Although it was an interesting idea for a setting, at first I couldn't quite get into the genre mixing, as the SciFi story/element wasn't catching my interest. But a few chapters it hooked me. When I was done with the book I was satisfied by the story, but I'm waffling on going on to the sequel.
What I liked:
The characters were written well enough to make you care about them.
Story was fairly fast paced and kept you entertained.
The conflict in both worlds was engaging and interesting.
What I disliked:
The "fantasy" side of the story was violent, but not truly dark or gritty.
There wasn't much development of the mythology or magical system.
Some of the dialog was nearing childish and caused me to loose my suspension of disbelief.
I'd put this in my "pass the time" category. Not sure if I'm going on the sequel yet.
Wow! I just finished book 2 & 3.
As I read this series I was continually awed by the layer upon layer of connection between the main character's actions and his slowly revealing history (and future).
It was masterfully done! While not my favorite book, I have hardly been more impressed with a story so well weaved.
And the ending was perfect!
I say read the series. It is dark. The main character does many awful things--but in the end it all makes perfect sense. Each step in his story is purposeful and necessary.
If you are looking for an action packed romp, this isn't the book for you. It is a pretty decent story set to a fairly interesting fantasy background.
You'll note that almost every review remarks on the homosexual relationships in the book. I only think it's notable that this is the first book I've ever seen with them front and center. This was far far less sexual or graphic than many heterosexual encounters described in countless other books in the genre. It really is only 3 gay characters and 1 bi.
In the end, it past the time. It lost my interest a bit at the end. And I haven't gone on to the sequel. But I may at some point.
This is a pretty enjoyable book, following a pretty tried and true (if not a bit tired) formula for fantasy novels.
It falls into my "past the time" on the long drive category. It is written for adults and is done well. Didn't really come up with anything original (and missed a few opportunities for an interesting twist on the coming of age story of a young criminal with a heart of gold).
I haven't gone on to the sequel yet. But I'll consider it if I can't find another more interesting option.
I waited over a year after finishing the mistborn series to read this. I should have rushed to it. It is a great extension of the series.
It is a different time period, but it has a similar feel to the series. While I think it'd be enjoyable on its own, because of the illusions and other references, I'd say you'd want to read the trilogy first. And honestly, you should read it.
I've been putting off this book for sometime, given the other review's descriptions of the dark, anti-hero.
They are very right; the main character is dark and an anti-hero. I almost stopped listening in the first 10min because he was such a B***rd.
But not shortly after I found myself rooting for him. It is an impressive work in that regard. The main character's condition begins to make sense and you begin to sympathize with him (I hope no one empathizes with him).
I liked it. I'm heading straight back to listen to the next book.
I'd say if you like dark/gritty this is your book--although, I'd say it is more dark that gritty.
I'd recommend it for fans of Game of Thrones, Blood Song, Dragon's Path, The left Hand of God, Black Company, or anything by Joe Abercombre
A "classic" story of tough lone-man who gives up his rough and tumble life to protect woman & child in trouble. It was a retelling of a western in a post apocalyptic world.
I was entertained through to the end. I didn't rush to read the second book, but I might read it sometime later.
All in all, I found it somewhat interesting, while it didn't impress me with its originality or plot.
So I'd put this in the "time filler" escapism category.
I was very excited at first--this seemed to be just the book I was looking for. I was ready for a "classic" style hero "comes into his own" sort of brain candy.
At first this delivered just that sort of story. But soon it became clear that the characters were going to stay dimensional and the dialog and situations stilted, forced, and not very captivating as a result.
Didn't finish it.
Yes, the narrator is awful. But I could get past it.
He undoubtedly weakened the book, but I still was hoping for more from Weeks. The book was ok, I listen until the end (although, it was a close call a few times at the beginning).
I'd say that if you have no other books on your list and want something to fill the time go for it. If you are looking for a deeply interesting or incredibly well written fantasy novel for adults--keep shopping.
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