First in a trilogy, this is a new fantasy world that just begs to be discovered, with a well-thought out magic system that relies heavily on principalFirst in a trilogy, this is a new fantasy world that just begs to be discovered, with a well-thought out magic system that relies heavily on principals of modern chemistry and physics.
Innkeeper Kote is more than he seems - in fact, he is Kvothe, a hero of some fame. We learn his history as he tells his story to a scribe for posterity... but we only get so much before the rest of the tale is left for the sequels.
What we do get is a tale of early childhood among traveling entertainers that ends in tragedy, and attendance at a magic university by way of extreme poverty. There's also a love story, a rival, and a mystery that involves the oldest and most powerful demons and gods....more
I really enjoyed Zindell's previous books and waited a long time for this to come out in paperback, only to be very disappointed.
The first 100 pages wI really enjoyed Zindell's previous books and waited a long time for this to come out in paperback, only to be very disappointed.
The first 100 pages were painfully boring as the book sets up very slowly, but it does get easier to read. Unfortunately it doesn't get better.
The book is a blatent mix of other fantasy books: the main character has a lightning bolt scar and an empathic link to the villain; the heroes quest for a magical cup (or grail) and get a magic sword from the "Lady of the Lake"; the group of travelers is accosted in the woods by what closely resembles elves; the magic system is based on gemstones, similar to R.A. Salvatore's Demon Wars books.
What's left is some paper-thin characters and motivation, with barely room for the metaphysical discussions that were the hallmark of his earlier work. Notably, there does seem to be some connection to his sci-fi series as apparently this world has origins in the stars and the concept of "shaida" resurfaces, along with some other references (the name of the ship, for example).
The book ends in the middle of the quest, in an odd place that feels unfinished, but that must be the result of this being a longer book cut in two.
I think I'll look for a cheap/paperback copy of the next book, just because I enjoyed the author's previous work so much and he deserves the opportunity to redeem himself, but this isn't a book I can recommend to anyone....more
I recently read a comment that this book was like a poem, and I find that the best way to describe it. Beagle paints a full, rich world without wastinI recently read a comment that this book was like a poem, and I find that the best way to describe it. Beagle paints a full, rich world without wasting a single word.
I don't think the book is very deep, but it contains deep things - almost as if we get to see the tip of the iceberg and, although we know more is beneath the surface we do not see it, though we certainly can feel and appreciate the power under the waves....more
I got this book only because of the story "Two Hearts", the novelette sequel to The Last Unicorn. It was worth the price for that story alone, which iI got this book only because of the story "Two Hearts", the novelette sequel to The Last Unicorn. It was worth the price for that story alone, which is simply amazing.
The other stories in the collection are pretty good as well - some better than others, of course, but I considered them extras tossed in for free....more
Not one of Gaiman's better efforts, but considering it was a World Book Day project and he did it for free and the book is low cost, I guess it doesn'Not one of Gaiman's better efforts, but considering it was a World Book Day project and he did it for free and the book is low cost, I guess it doesn't matter all that much.
The problem is that the book sets up some wonderful characters and situations, and then resolves things rather quickly instead of developing them. The book is short, but just doesn't seemed balanced for that length, and ends up feeling rushed....more
Book 4 in "The Age of Fire" finally reunites the three dragon siblings, but not until about 2/3 of the way into the book.
The first three books followBook 4 in "The Age of Fire" finally reunites the three dragon siblings, but not until about 2/3 of the way into the book.
The first three books follow each of three dragon siblings individually, getting their stories from their perspectives, along with some intersections of places and secondary characters. It's a brave experiment, but one that ultimately works to the series' advantage.
In this fourth book, the paths of the siblings start to circle one another, albeit very slowly. The book ends with a significant battle, but with enough loose ends to indicate that the war has only just begun.
In this series, the books get progressively better, with the juvenile "boy's adventure" of the first leading to deeper stories and explorations of dragons and their role in the world. However, the series suffers from two very clumsy types of mistakes. First, the elements of the world don't seem well thought out or consistent, from dragon harnesses going from unheard of to constantly in use. Second, there are a lot of mistakes in the book, from which side injuries are on to the names of characters. The book is complicated enough with dozens of characters and getting the names wrong just confuses things.
Having said all that, the books were entertaining and I look forward to reading future volumes....more
This series gets better with every book, and it needed to. The first book is a mess, with the characters bouncing from one event to another. The seconThis series gets better with every book, and it needed to. The first book is a mess, with the characters bouncing from one event to another. The second reads like the Cliff Notes version of The Odyssey. The third book is where things start to gel.
While it is tempting to draw parallels to the Harry Potter franchise, since it involves a boy learning about a fantasy world where he is a powerful hero, the Percy Jackson series is a pale imitation. The plot elements are clumsy and heavy handed, and the internal logic of the series isn't consistently enforced (specifically, the "don't say their names or they will notice" rule).
Good enough for a quick diversion and a movie or two? Sure, but that's about it (and fortunately the first movie was able to smooth out many of the problems in the first book, but at the expense of some of the longer plot threads). My daughter likes the books, so hopefully it sparks an interest in mythology....more
This was an easy book for me to read, but a difficult one to review.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. The book is ambitious, and I think thaThis was an easy book for me to read, but a difficult one to review.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. The book is ambitious, and I think that's part of the problem. In setting up a "Scooby gang" of protagonists and allies, most of which have ulterior motives, there are a lot of characters to introduce and get to know, a few too many for the short (300 page) book.
Similarly, the "rules" of the magic in the book don't always make sense. Tessa is a Scion, because of her bloodline, but apparently this can skip generations because neither of her parents have the title. And I'm not even sure which parent provides the bloodline, since her mother is missing and her father seems to avoid her all the time.
The action is a little muddled and unclear. For example, characters look for a weapon to replace the one they lost, but there was no mention of them losing the first weapon.
Some of the writing is clumsy as well. Tessa getting her axe, obvious from the cover image, is forced. School serves to introduce some characters, but is conveniently discarded when it would get in the way.
A big stumbling block for me is that it is very much a girl power fantasy, complete with no less than three "hott, double-t hott" guys fighting for the attention of the heroine. There was not only the obligatory attention paid to every outfit change, but also a dress shopping scene. And apparently being trapped by zombies is the best time to shed clothes and take a relationship to the next level?
There are good ideas here, but it tries to be the first book in a series instead of a stand alone tale, and leaves many things dangling.
It could definitely benefit from an editor and more rewrites, but it certainly has potential....more