This book definitely had a great plot and I enjoyed it very much. Plot-wise it grabbed me and I was constantly eager to see how things would work outThis book definitely had a great plot and I enjoyed it very much. Plot-wise it grabbed me and I was constantly eager to see how things would work out and how things would be accomplished. I really enjoyed seeing the progress Arlian made in his quest for revenge. At the beginning you're left wondering how in the world he is going to accomplish all these lofty goals but the author gives a believable story (believable as in logical, not that it's literally believable as truth lol..) behind Arlian's accomplishments. I really hate it when books overlook things like the time it takes to acquire a skill like sword fighting so I appreciated it when the author made sure things like training occurred. Sure, Arlian became a good sword fighter a bit quicker than might be feasible in real life but he did put in the work and time.
Things I would have liked more of: The idea of justice in the world. It started out promising. Arlian's confusion and struggles with the concept of justice is one that's familiar to most of us. Justice is a hard concept and applying it in the world is even harder. In the beginning Arlian really had struggles with it and I really liked that. It seemed like the book was going to go more into that and I was eager to see how the author/Arlian would deal with it. But it kind of just disappeared. Sure, he still was on the fence most of the time about killing but later it more felt like he had hardened up and gave up really caring. Like "Is this really right? Hm... I don't know but he did bad things he must die" basically became Arlian's thoughts on everything. I wouldn't have minded the hardening of his heart towards the idea of killing... after all, it would have fit with the plot and it does happen in real life: people sometimes tip one way or another. But there was just no explanation for it or anything. He just suddenly didn't seem to care as much anymore.
Things I did not like: The author has a strange habit of over-explaining things. For example, he'd use a conversation between characters to explain things (as almost all authors do) but they'll keep repeating just about the same thing. "So he might think blah so did blah blah?" "yeah yeah..." *10 minutes later* "okay so he probably thought blah which made him to do blah blah." Thanks Evans, got that already. This also happens in the narrative of Arlian's thoughts. "Arlian swore to himself he'd do blah but he wasn't sure about bleh." *two paragraphs later* "Arlian was set on doing blah but would leave bleh until he was sure."
Then there's the matter of Arlian being a complete moron at some points. It's almost like Arlian is Holmes's sidekick who needs to be dumb in order for the author to clearly explain everything to the reader. Except it's not needed. Everything's clear as day without Arlian being dumb and needing clarification for things.
There's many little inconsistencies that aren't huge but noticeable. Such as *MINOR SPOILER AHEAD. NO NAMES MENTIONED THOUGH* him seeing someone kill someone for sure... he even thinks about it later about how effortlessly and mindless that person killed someone; but then later another character asks "are you sure it was CharacterA who ordered CharacterB killed?" and Arlian is like "hmm it might not have been." Made me go WTF because the narration clearly describes Arlian's thoughts about the careless skill with which CharacterA killed. There's several little slips like this that aren't really important but made it look a bit sloppy.
Last thing is about Arlian's character itself. After finishing this 550 page book I still don't feel like I really know Arlian. I don't feel close to him and don't feel regret in leaving him after putting down the book as I will with a really good character. The book focused so much on the plot that Arlian himself got a bit lost in it.
It may seem like there was a lot I didn't like but that's just because there were several different specific things while the things I did like were big general things. Overall, I really did like the book....more
Liked it well enough. It really isn't a great book by itself as it spends the whole thing laying down the foundations of the world and characters... BLiked it well enough. It really isn't a great book by itself as it spends the whole thing laying down the foundations of the world and characters... But somehow it kept me reading and enjoying it through that....more
Really enjoyed this book. It's the first book in a long time to have me uncontrollably glancing down to read ahead of myself because I just NEED to knReally enjoyed this book. It's the first book in a long time to have me uncontrollably glancing down to read ahead of myself because I just NEED to know what the next line out of a character's mouth is.
I love the world that Goodman crafted in this book; it felt alive. It's rare that a book can emulate a feeling of depth about its world and culture. Like as if there's so much more to it than is being shown. It made me want to learn more about this world and its customs. I realize Goodman based a lot of things off of real life cultures; perhaps that is why her world feels deep... because there really IS a lot more to it.
The plot itself was compelling. I won't really go into it in order to keep this spoiler free but it definitely had me unable to put the book down.
Some criticism though: I feel like the fast pace of the plot had a downside and that is character development. I never really felt like I knew Eona as I read the book. I felt a little bit distanced from her. Maybe it had to do with the fact that her identity is so confused in her own head. And while the supporting characters are good, I don't feel like I'm attached to them very much. I only liked Lady Dela a bit, the others were just "meh"; they were just those characters who, if they died, you wouldn't really grieve for.
This next point is just me being reeaally nitpicky but while I enjoyed the flirty relationship of Ryko and Lady Dela, I felt like it was oddly presented. This is a culture in which respect and rank are of utmost importance. Etiquette is followed to the letter in public scrutiny. Here is Lady Dela in front of a new Lord (Eona) to whom they have been appointed. They don't know him and all they know is that they must make a good impression on him because he may or may not be a central figure in the resistance. And they flirt openly in front of him. Yes, he was only recently a peasant but still. Rank is rank. It just felt odd and not in keeping with the rest of the world. I understand why it was done but it didn't really fit the culture.
My criticisms didn't hinder my enjoyment of the book in any way though. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy....more
This book's style is one where the POV of two characters are shown. Each Chapter takes alternating turns between the first person view of two main chaThis book's style is one where the POV of two characters are shown. Each Chapter takes alternating turns between the first person view of two main characters: Michael and Fisk. I've always thought that this style was really cool and is one of my favourites. However, Hilari Bell didn't quite pull it off in this book. It succeeded in advancing the story or telling it efficiently for there were times when just Michael's POV or just Fisk's POV wouldn't have been enough (because of situations like not being in the other character's presence) but I feel like it didn't add enough to the atmosphere of the book nor in shaping the characters. First person view is an excellent way to delve deeper into your character and establish their personalities but I felt none of that.
I could not tell the difference between Michael and Fisk's chapters. The only way I could tell was that Fisk was called Fisk in Michael's and Michael was called Sir Michael or Noble Sir in Fisk's. The writing style for each chapter did not ring out the character's personalities. In Michael's chapters I didn't hear Michael in my head... I heard Hilari Bell. In Fisk's chapters... again, I heard Hilari Bell. I really think this book could have been a lot better if she had used the FPV as an extension for character development rather than just a tool for showing different sides of the story.
Other than that I really did like the plot of the story. The world she created in this book is just different enough for me to be interested but not too hectically alien for me to be confused. It was a comfortable book to read if that makes sense....more
This book's structure was so weird. It spent HOW many pages building up the whole situation? Then it spent basically 10 pages (maybe even less?) wrappThis book's structure was so weird. It spent HOW many pages building up the whole situation? Then it spent basically 10 pages (maybe even less?) wrapping it all up. The whole book was people going, "The Nighters did whaaa?!" "The Lighters did whaaa?!" "The demons did whaaa?!" "HUUUH?!" "OOOH I GET IT!" The End. It was odd. It almost felt like Brennan wanted to write this long well formed book... and then ran out of time at the end. Things wrapped up too fast. Not enough description, not enough dialogue, not enough character connections at the end. The first 7/8 of the book was fine and dandy... it's just the final 1/8th was too short. I feel like I just had this amazing climb up a mountain. Great scenery, and excited to get to the top to see what's there... then at the top there's the bottom again. Makes you go "...what?" Right? Yeah.. that's basically how I felt at the end of this book....more
I liked the world that was set up in this book but not the characters. I thought the characters were horribly cliche. Evalle having been sexually assaI liked the world that was set up in this book but not the characters. I thought the characters were horribly cliche. Evalle having been sexually assaulted and now is this kick ass don't-you-dare-lay-a-hand-on-me woman was just really boring. She had no dimension at all and nothing unique about her whatsoever. The dialogue in this book was also horridly cheesy as were the internal thoughts of Evalle that were shared.