This book tells the story of Cvothe and how, as he says in his own words he "trooped, traveled, loved, lost and was betrayed". Essentially this is your basic coming of age, rights of passage fantasy, where the young boy comes to terms with whatever strange powers he has while at the same time the story builds the cast of friends and enemies who will help and hinder him on his way. The story itself, while not wholely original is well written and engaging at all times. I found myself thinking about the book and its characters while not reading it, which is always a sign the book has captured my imagination. The writing style is clear and concise and the dialogue is excellent, which is more than you can say for most epic fantasies. It must be stressed that this is very much a character driven story. While we are given some details about the world the characters live in, this is really just to support the story, rather than to tell it. The book is not without its flaws. Firstly Cvothe is just that bit too brilliant. He is a masterful musician, he picks up new ideas almost instantaniously, he has a clever mouth and even cleverer hands. Secondly, the use of language is jarringly anachronistic at times. The language is very modern american in its use of expressions and slang and this does not always sit well against the obvious renaissance backdrop of the book. Lastly, the final third of the book seemed very flat. The sole purpose of the book seems to be to lay foundations for what is to come. Finally, I need to mention the narration. Nick Podehl does a fantastic job of narrating this book. His use of voices and accents throughout is just incredible. He uses just the right intonation and pitch of voice while at all times remaining clear and distinct.
The premise for this book is intriguing, but in reality it falls far short of even being remotely good. If it wasn't for some farely graphic descriptions of violence I would have thought that it was aimed at the young adult or even children's market.
Some of the istorical background is interesting but the story itself is barely credible. Again and again our heroes are saved by coincidences and occurrances which stretch the definition of Deus ex machina to its absolute limit.
Lastly, the dialogue is wooden and many passages often repeat themselves.
It is possible that some of these faults are due to a poor translation from the original german, but it doesn't excuse the tissue thin plot and eventual resolution.
There are many other historical who done its out there which are more worthy of your credits.
When I first read the blurb for this book I thought it was right up my alley. Epic fantasy, complex plot, large cast of characters, intrigue etc, etc. Unfortunately, the book itself did not live up to expectations.
Indeed, the only reason I stuck with this book to the end was due to the large number of reviews saying that it would be worth it.
I've read and enjoyed titles by Jordan, Martin etc, so don't get me wrong I know a complex storyline when I hear it.
There is no doubt that this book is complicated. At the start we are thrown in head first to, what seems on the face of it, the middle of a story. We are introduced to a large number of characters very quickly. We know nothing of their history, allegiances or motivations. Over time things do settle down a bit and by the middle of the book you feel that you are finally getting to grips with things.
Unfortunately the problem is that things just don't develop from there. The story just seems to drift on with no obvious goal. Various gods and mythical characters make cameo appearances, and at times it just feels they were introduced just for the sake of it.
There seems to be several different magic systems in use, but none of them are ever properly explained ... it just seems to happen.
Another significant problem I have with the book is there isn't really one character that you particularly like. Its always difficult to invest time and effort in a book when you don't really care all that much what happens to the protagonists.
Finally, the narrator really doesn't help the book at all. His interpretation of female voices is just awful and he has a habit of fading away at the end of sentences which makes hearing what he is saying quite difficult.
So, all and all, I won't be continuing with this series.
An absolutely fantastic read. Other reviews have given excellent outlines of the plot and topics addressed in this title, so I won't repeat them here.
We may have come along way in how we treat people with disabilities since this book was first published, but in some ways we haven't moved forward at all. Imparticular, how people view others with intellectual disabilities has not really changed that much.
This book will make you reflect on some many levels. For one thing, getting what we always desire doesn't necessarily make us any happier. How we treat and perceive people who are "different" can have both positive and negative affects on these people, but also can affect us even more profoundly.
Read this book, you won't regret it.
This is my first listen to this author, and its most likely to be the last. It seems like the story is firmly aimed at the US market and its description of Ireland seem direct from some tourist board brochure. The story romanticises the traveller lifestyle. The protagonist freely admits to doing this in the story itself.
The characters are all "hard men" but in reality are "lovely" "family men".
The prose drifts in to the poetic and lyrical at the oddest moments.
Couldn't finish it and would advise to steer well clear.
If I didn't already know that this book was written by the same auth or as the Kite Runner, I never would have believed it. In summary the story is a depiction of life in Afghanistan between the late 1970s and the early 2000s. The history of that time is portrayed by the lives of the 2 main characters, Marian and Laila. There is no doubt that living conditions in Afghanistan, particularly for women, are shocking, but this story fails to convey this to me in any meaningful way. The writing style is childish at times and the dialogue is stilted and wooden. The story is laid out in a series of episodes, often with several years between each. This causes the narrative to fragment and you never really get to know the characters. There are many references to the culture and geography of Afghanistan, which are probably poiniant to those familiar with them, but are mainly lost on the rest of us. Lastly, the narrator is truly awful. She reads in a monotonous drone, without any expression or feeling. I don't think the book could have been rescued by a fantatic narration, but its made considerably worse by what we are given.
This is an interesting retelling of the well known Robin Hood story. However, its a bit simplistic for my tastes. I can't help thinking its aimed at younger readers.
The dialogue at times is jarringly anachronistic and the norman characters have a tendency to spontaneously break into modern french (just in case we didn't realise where they came from?).
The narrator does a good job with the range of voices needed for the characters, though he does tend to mispronounce celtic words and names.
All in all, It was a bit disappointing and I don't think I will continue with the series.
Again Robert Harris excels at giving you a view of historical events from the perspective of the common man. As in his books on Cicero, we learn what is really like to live in the roman empire. The story itself is interesting enough to keep you reading, but it is the details of day-to-day life in a roman town which makes the book so engrossing. As usual John Lee gives a fantastic narration.
This title gives us as much of an insight into how scientific discoveries are made and how the scientific community works as it does on the finding of the double helix. The science described in the book is quite technical at times, but I don't think an expert knowledge of biology or chemistry is necessary for a reader to appreciate and enjoy the text. A must read for those interested in eye witness accounts of history being made.
Excellent book packed full of fascinating statistics and little nuggets of information. The one slight criticism is that I don't believe that Coca Cola really qualifies as a drink that has changed history. Rather, it owes its spread and success to the spread of US influence. Even so, the book is well worth the read.
To be honest I don't see what so many people have been raving about this book for. I was really looking forward to reading it given the hyp the book received but I was very disappointed with the end result. Its not that there is anything bad about the book, its just that its very average. Its very genteel, very english, and very 1940s ... which probably isn't surprising. Without being sexist, I think this title would appeal more to the ladies out there. On the plus side narration is very good.
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