Reaching far beyond sword and sorcery, The Scar is a story of two people torn by disaster, their descent into despair, and their re-emergence through love and courage.
Sergey and Marina Dyachenko mix dramatic scenes with romance, action and wit, in a style both direct and lyrical. Written with a sure artistic hand, The Scar is the story of a man driven by his own feverish demons to find redemption and the woman who just might save him. Egert is a brash, confident member of the elite guards and an egotistical philanderer. But after he kills an innocent student in a duel, a mysterious man known as “The Wanderer” challenges Egert and slashes his face with his sword, leaving Egert with a scar that comes to symbolize his cowardice. Unable to end his suffering by his own hand, Egert embarks on an odyssey to undo the curse and the horrible damage he has caused, which can only be repaired by a painful journey down a long and harrowing path.
Plotted with the sureness of Robin Hobb and colored with the haunting and ominous imagination of Michael Moorcock, The Scar tells a story that cannot be forgotten.
©2012 Marina and Sergey Dyachenko (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"Rich, vivid, tactile prose, with a solid yet unpredictable plot—and an extraordinary depth and intensity of character reminiscent of the finest Russian literature." (Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review)
Enjoy the adventure
A wealthy, young, military officer uses his position and opportunities to harm others because he enjoys the attention and knows punishment is unlikely. Like most bullies, he goes one step too far, receives justice and is cursed by overwhelming fear.
This book contains hours of graphic cowardice. OK, the man is a groveling, crying, diaper wearing grown man who cannot be pitied. But, it felt unjust to punish me with chapter after chapter on the details of the man’s fears. At one point, I almost deleted the book and moved on.
Now that it’s finally over, I’m glad I had the stamina to listen to the entire book.
I would have enjoyed seeing more strength coming from the main character in fighting the curse of "cowardice." I still have ugly thoughts of the scene involving a stagecoach & robbers. The authors worked so very hard at making the character look like a complete jerk in the very beginning & then such a feeble excuse of human flesh throughout the rest of the book I had a hard time getting the love story. When I read a love story in fantasy & truly enjoy it, it requires that I fall a little in love with the characters myself to make it real. In this case I just couldn't see how any woman (save those missing some marbles) could find anything remarkable or loveable in the main character. Yeah he was a good looking guy (throughout the book this is really obvious) but otherwise he was such a jellyfish!!
Make the character more human.. less like an insect.
Jonathan Davis did an excellent job narrating the story. I find no fault with his work.
I liked the idea behind the story which is what brought me to the book. I thought if written differently I could have really enjoyed it.
I listened to the first part 7 hrs & then 3/4's of the 2nd part before I gave up on the book. The last straw was when the heroin got put in prison & tortured & our gallant knight would do nothing to help her for fear bringing the torture down on himself. This is the initial impression.. I have no idea what he eventually did if anything because I couldn't stand to listen to it anymore.
I've been an audible subscriber for several years; this is the first book I have ever felt compelled to review. It contains some of the best writing I've listened to to date, and perhaps THE best for the genre. My next plan is to actually read the story. The translation to English is superb, not a wit of character nor the soul of the story is lost.
The character development and story arc are a perfectly crafted fairy tale. A true joy to follow the protagonists' journey.
Passionate, but poorly edited/modulated.
More or less. Finished it in one weekend.
I got about two hours into it and had to stop. It seems it was written by a 13 year old boy. Again some may like it but i could not get into it.
I love everything from an epic fantasy to a book on virology. I listen everyday.
Maybe it's my mood, maybe it's because I listened to Tigana first and by comparison did not like this, or maybe it's just boring. I couldn't get past the first few hours. I didn't care about the characters or what was going on and this hasn't happened to me before.
Accolades about this book (nay, 'great LIT'rature') informed my purchase.
I barely got through Part 1. It's a cumbersome telling of an ageless tale. Plain language; nothing clever or unique about the prose. Sounded like this - 'She looked up shyly..." "The sword was at his side before he knew what was happening...?" the entire time. Take the lessons of any cautionary nursery/disney story and it's been done with far more interest and appeal. A Dickens novel is Literature. This IMHO, is not.
Perhaps it loses any charm in the translation. Perhaps the topic... 'bad boy narcissist learns lessons by being turned into a frog, I mean, a beast, I mean by descending into varying levels of mood disorders until empathy is obtained', is too close to what I do for a living though it's not been a problem before. Perhaps the slowwww, deep, flat narration just doesn't appeal to me?
Not giving up yet. I turned to the beginning again, put it on 1.5x speed. Better.
Still doesn't change the mundane prose but it does move faster.
I would recommend this book to my Ukrainian friends who are interested in what contemporary Ukrainian/Russian authors are writing and how they are getting translated. The translation is excellently written. Not sure it would be interesting to others, though. The plot is problematic in that the main character suffers from chronic cowardice. As a fairy tale, or a short story, the heavy-handed bravado of the main character and subsequent insurmountable fear he is cursed to experience can serve as the vehicle for a moral, certainly. For a novel, though, it's frustrating to experience such a conspicuous transformation, and one that leads the main character to always give into his cowardice. It's so much more interesting to watch someone fight fear. In THE SCAR, the main character is magically bound to be incapable of doing that.
I think I would try another book from the authors. It was well written, and more importantly, well translated. Although the themes were obvious, this fantasy world is subtly magical. Wizards with magical powers limited only by their moods aren't throwing fire balls at each other. Conversely, the world resembles more what I imagine the European Renaissance looked like. I would need to know a synopsis first.
Formal. Plain. Manufactured.
I'm glad I listened to it. But probably won't again.
not at all but the whole genre is full of gems surrounded by cabbages
Carter? or at least reduce his importance. because he really just added fluff.
The Scar starts out with a few interesting anecdotes to introduce the main players. But despite my expectation for slow beginnings to new books, I was forced to take a couple days off from listening till I braved The Scar again. It finally moves into the event that sets up the following story. At this point it painfully slowly drawls out the consequences of this event... but very little actually happens! again I was tempted to give up on the book.
Finally the actually story gets started, making everything before it seem like it would have fit into a prologue or tucked into a fable over the course of 10 or so minutes and then in the following chapter stating that the main character of said fable was a real person and the main protagonist of the story. Now the amount of action increases to a full story, though not a very complex one. It builds up some intrigue and mystery though most of the story before the climax is of human nature between the few main characters.
Then the real action gets started and is short lived. There's a section that is good story though frustrating to anyone who gets wrapped up in the story and finally ends in an important choice which the clever will discern before the character and it's suddenly done leaving you thinking: hey, it just got started.
When I was younger I would have really liked this story. Probably would have been my favorite, and I have read a lot of books from the fantasy genre.
This would make a good movie, but as it was, I a getting too old for this kind of sword and sorcery novel.
Some good morals were attempted at throughout this book. The writing was above average to excellent.
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