I enjoyed this book and its sequel. Russel could have easily split this book into two or three--but instead creates a great semi-epic work. This is good writing, with an interesting plot that keeps you reading. However, if you are looking for a non-stop action ride this isn't your book.
It has the setting and plot for a 'coming of age' epic adventure, but Russell clearly didn't want to write that kind of book. The main character has the mysterious strength/ability/power and the setting is a multi-layered epic struggle of the characters' personal beliefs, set under the larger struggle between political families/entities, set under the larger epic struggle between nations/peoples, again set under the still larger struggle of ideologies/religions. While at first the setting leads you expect a coming of age story of a mystical warrior--the coming of age is really about the spiritual identity of the character and the nature of his reality--not his physical abilities (although that is developed in the book, too).
There is action in this series (wars, assassinations, fights, kick-boxing tournament, etc.), but they are almost downplayed at times. For instance, the central character competes in a kickboxing tournament, fighting something like a half-dozen matches, but Russell skims over almost all physical the action as if it is entirely irrelevant until the last match.
While I do enjoy a true action packed epic--this was a well written and enjoyable book. As was its sequel.
The narrator is fine. However, he's one of those narrators which would do best by simply reading the book and not trying to push his voice into a variety of characters. His effort to do so is a little comical at times--two of the minor characters' voices are just silly. One is a bad Yoda impression and the other is straight out of good fellas (odd in this feudal Asian society). Luckily these characters have minor roles, so it doesn't get annoying.
Enjoyed this pretty bleak, but somewhat upbeat, detective story set to the back drop of the end of the world.
Interesting allegory for the meaninglessness and/or intrinsic meaning of our every day actions/motivations. Kept me thinking about why we live our lives as I compared my motivations to that of he knowingly doomed.
Enjoyable story, with interesting characters, and smooth writing.
Enjoyed the plot idea.
However, the writing is bad. Constantly breaks the old adage "show don't tell" as the characters explain all their actions and thoughts.
The characters are poorly developed. Their actions are unbelievable in parts because the motivations are immature and unrealistic (for characters that are supposed to be sophisticated).
YA and not particularly impressive even for that sub-genre .
Enjoyed this more upbeat version of POT. There are quiet a few similarities to the characters and storyline (beyond the obvious overlapping place & time), but it is fresh and distinct.
As with POT the characters are richly developed, engaging, and interesting. The plot feels a bit weaker than the other series, but it is hard to compete.
I recommend, especially if you are a fan of the thorn series.
After reading some reviews of this book, I was expecting a captivating, engrossing, mature, sophisticated Brandon Sanderson or GRR Martin type experience.
While fine in its own right, it was not in the same ball park as those. The storyline/plot is creative and engaging. The character development is fine. The writing isn't amazing, but it does the job. It feels slightly like it is leaning towards the YA side.
The experience/writing felt most like Brent Weeks.
I enjoyed this book (helped that it was free). But it has the halmark Sanderson creativity. While I'm not overwhelmed by any aspect of the book (storyline is fun, but not amazing; character development is good, but not his best work; concepts are engaging, but not inspiring), I enjoyed it.
Up until this book I enjoyed but didn't love this series. This is the book in which it all really starts coming together. The character development is paying off. The actions of the characters in prior books fits. The epic storyline is coming into fruition. I'm hooked on the series.
This was the last available Sanderson book I had yet to read. Given its short length I waited for a long time until it came up on sale. It was worth the sale price. Fun book. Not in the same class as some of his other work, but enjoyable.
Different kind of story. Fun retelling of the emigrant's tale through the experience of two mythical beings.
Well done and enjoyable.
Fascinating to glimpse the experience (if only fictional) of communist Russia. I'm enjoying trying to parse through the allegories wrapped adapted in Russia folk lore.
However, while I haven't finished yet, I'm not entirely taken with the experience. Not sure I'd recommend, unless you are interested in Russian history/folk lore.
I'm not sure if I read the wrong review or what. But this book is boring me to death. It is like a dull retelling of an old english folk tale.
I put it down two books ago and haven't gone back.
Not I'm going to be able to ever finish it.
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