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The Harlequin's Dance (The Orokon #1)

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Long ago, the god Orok gave each of his five children crystals to embed on the Rock of Being and Unbeing. From this circle of crystals, known as the Orokon, sprung the gods, the earth, and all its peoples. And, it ensured the harmony of life-until the dark god Koros plucked one from the Rock and plunged the world into chaos and despair. Now, someone has emerged willing to ...more
Paperback, 572 pages
Published 2000 by Millenium
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Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

I got 67 pages (eight chapters) into Tom Arden's The Harlequin's Dance, and even those 67 pages were a struggle. In fact, I started and stopped the book a few times before finally giving up. I'm a little disappointed, because it seems like there's potential here. Characterization is thorough, there are some promising villains, and some subtle humor -- all things that I appreciate.

And Arden is a fine enough writer, though a bit choppy in parts:
Cata wiped he
This is the first book of The Orokon pentalogy (before The King and Queen of Swords, Sultan of the Moon and Stars, Sisterhood of the Blue Storm, and Empress of the Endless Sun).

The events of this book take place in an 18th-Century setting, in the isolated village of Irion, a remote place still mostly unconcerned by the civil war of Ejland: the usurper Ejard Blue has overthrown his brother Ejard Red's government, the rightful heir.

Catayane is a young Vaga girl who lives in the Wildwood with her b
The Harlequin's Dance is a quiet book, which has similarities with Gormenghast in terms of setting and social commentary. Arden uses an 18th Century setting, rather unusually, in this, the first of five novels in The Orokon sequence. This enables him to bring in concepts such as novels, muskets and other technological advances that add a different feel to the book in comparison to traditional fantasy.

Also unlike traditional fantasy, although this novel is on the surface a quest for five crystals
May 05, 2008 Nomanisan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: die-hard fantasy readers
As fantasy goes, this one is middling. The author seems occasionally to get lost in the side-tracks on his way to the conclusion of this first in a series. Perhaps, since it's a series, he's not really lost--but I'm not sure I'm going to read the rest of these. I will give the author this: he is spectacularly good at creating characters you will absolutely despise, both as obviously despicable people and as secretly abhorrent. It's too bad that at least one of these didn't die before the end of ...more
I don't really know what to think about this book. It wasn't all bad and it wasn't good either. The word describing it the best would be strange.

It had good writing and good characterization, yet most of the characters seemed to be designed to be hated. I didn't really took liking in any of them. Somehow, though, I am interested in reading the next books so I get to know what happened to them.

Some passages made me squirm and want to put the book away and not pick it up again, ugh =/

Also, the w
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Other Books in the Series

The Orokon (5 books)
  • The King And Queen Of Swords
  • Sultan Of The Moon And Stars (Orokon)
  • Sisterhood Of The Blue Storm (Orokon)
  • Empress Of The Endless Dream

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