This is a good story and a good idea, but a lot of the plot development was quite predictable. There's nothing outstanding about this book, yet I enjo...moreThis is a good story and a good idea, but a lot of the plot development was quite predictable. There's nothing outstanding about this book, yet I enjoyed reading it and that's the most important thing. Not a world shattering novel, but a good holiday read or airport novel.(less)
This is a classic book, always listed in top 10 sci fi novels and stuff like that, so I finally got around to reading it. And it is good. It's not wri...moreThis is a classic book, always listed in top 10 sci fi novels and stuff like that, so I finally got around to reading it. And it is good. It's not written in a style that is normally considered good, Card does a lot of things that are considered "wrong" by established writing coaches, but he pulls it off by telling a good story. I picked the twist early, but I think the reader is actually expected to suspect what the protagonist doesn't know. It's getting on now, this book, but it's still a great read. Well worth your time.(less)
So I finished reading this book. It's a big tome and it covers some very interesting ground and certainly doesn't pull its punches. This is fantasy fo...moreSo I finished reading this book. It's a big tome and it covers some very interesting ground and certainly doesn't pull its punches. This is fantasy for grown ups and I really enjoyed that about it.
The story is fairly simple in essence, but it's engaging and it's very well managed by the author. I found a lot of the coincidences that come out later in the book a bit hard to swallow at times. There was sometimes a sense of the author trying too hard to surprise the reader.
I also had some problems with the writing at times. It's not a particularly literary book - it's written very openly and simply. On the whole it's written very well, but I found some hiccups in the writing that could have been better editted. Things like, "He picked up the jug of water and poured a glass of water." Word repetition like that can be distracting to the reader.
However, regardless of these small gripes, I greatly enjoyed this book and would recommend it. There are two more in the series and I'll certainly pick up the next one.
This is the first fantasy series that I’ve read in a long time and it was something I picked up completely on a whim. I was in a mall with my wife, wa...moreThis is the first fantasy series that I’ve read in a long time and it was something I picked up completely on a whim. I was in a mall with my wife, waiting while she did some shopping. I wandered into a book shop and decided I might get something new to read and was attracted by the ninja-like figure on the front cover. The blurb talked about assassins and a quick thumb through convinced me to give the book a go.
I was a bit put off by the names, but I looked past that and bought the book. Classic bookstore browser activity.
The books are, initially, a classic high fantasy adventure. There’s the world, there’s the map in the front of each book so you can check where places are, there’s the usual intrigue of courtly politics, war, magic and desire. But there’s something different about these books. They’re fantasy for grown ups. There’s swearing, there’s gore, there’s rape and murder. It’s not gratuitous and it’s not always brilliantly written, but it does spin an excellent yarn. It’s quite dark and that appealed to me greatly.
While the story is told largely from the point of view of Azoth, there’s an astonishing array of characters and Weeks has managed to wrangle them all brilliantly. The scope of the plot, the scale of the events, is quite breathtaking and the story remains exciting and interesting throughout the nearly 1,400 pages.
Many of the events in the story that this book tells are brushed over in such a way that they seem almost insignificant. They are, however, absolutely pivotal things. There are three characters in particular that are doing remarkable things, truly heroic quests, but the story is never told in detail. Weeks handles this really well and it adds an incredible depth to the saga as a whole.
There were places where an editor’s knife could have trimmed those fourteen hundred pages down quite significantly and I was surprised at the number of typos and errors in the books. It’s becoming more common these days that mainstream published books are carrying more and more errors to publication - perhaps it’s the result of mass production or staff cuts. But I don’t let that bother me unless it’s really atrocious. A handful of small errors in each book is forgiveable and makes me feel better about the handful of small errors in my books.
Overall this was a gritty, solid story. It was entertaining, it was a page turner and it was filled with some really clever ideas and some extremely talented worldbuilding. I’ll be looking forward to anything else Brent Weeks produces in the future.(less)