I was very interested in the idea of the first book: taking the viewpoint of the Tolkien-style "evil" races and exploring an individual's experience and ethical growth in the face of an "evil" culture, leadership, and deity. I stuck through progressively worse books, all in hope the author was going to take that idea to its fruition.
I liked the story of the first book--despite the very week development of the mythology, history, and characters. I thought that the paper thin facade of the background story of "good" vs "evil" was just that--a "facade"--and that the author was setting it up just to tear it down in the second and third book (as a great trilogy author would). I put up with the lack of any rules to the character's abilities (a new magical ability or skill seems to pop out of thin air as the author needs it to push the story along). I also put up with the main character's inanate physical abilities (which conveniently for the story-telling are alternately awe inspiring and then insufficient throughout the series) AND WORSE innate "goodness" without any real explanation or development (only weak, underdeveloped hints as to the influence of the father or sister or third book "goddess/heart").
But to my great dismay, the second book was even less nuanced and only detracted from the depth of the character--adding in childish ("young adult") motivations, dialog, and actions. From this book forward, everyone he meets is either pure good (open minded, accepting, kind--always after a short adjustment period) or through and through "Cruella De Vil" evil (so borring!).
It got exponentially worse in the third and final book. The author almost entirely dropped the mythology of the first book; only at times making a surface nod towards a larger idea (e.g. the main character has issues with one of his abilities on the surface, but that is never explored). Worse the author exchanged the underdeveloped villains of the first and second book--who had some potential for depth/interest (spider goddess, main character's family, mercenary group) for pathetic caricatures of recycled Disney villians (mountain troll gang leader, then mountain orc gang leader, then vindictive mountain man).
Loved the original idea--hated the execution.
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.
You follow a broken man back from complete destitution into the heart of a political & mythical struggle.
Yet, this isn't the tried powerless learns to be powerful story-line. It takes you along on a somewhat complicated and usual path. While there is some action, it is far from action packed.
I would recommend it.
While not fully YA, it is heading in that direction. It is an action romp that tries to break free of the tried and true fantasy story-line, but doesn't really succeed.
If you are looking for great fiction, look on. If you are looking for escapist fantasy fiction, you've found one.
Interesting and engaging. A different kind of book. It is an attempt to tell a "harry-potter/narnia" tale from a real world perspective. Basically, that means the characters are complex, troubled, selfish, etc and not everything works out in the end.
I was more fascinated and interested that I thought I'd be in this concept. I must admit it got me thinking. It made a nice allegory for the process of growing up; it takes a hard look at the idea that one must let go of fantasy/dreams and what it means not to.
I would recommend this book. (Maybe not for those looking for escapist fiction, unless you can take a few punches).
I've always been impressed by Kay's writing. This was a very interesting idea with some real potential. Yet, towards the end I wasn't able to stay under its spell- and I lost my ability to suspend my disbelief regarding the evolution of some of the characters.
Really enjoyed this one. Some of the characters really came into their own and the relationships and storyline became more compelling.
While not as mind-blowingly good as the first book, with a bit more rambling, less focused story-telling this book was nonetheless an enjoyable read well worth the credit.
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