Short review: Harry Potter for adults (complete with sex and drinking) with some Narnia thrown in.
Long review: I found this to be a refreshingly realis...moreShort review: Harry Potter for adults (complete with sex and drinking) with some Narnia thrown in.
Long review: I found this to be a refreshingly realistic take on "kid-finds-out-he's-special" fantasy. Because it applies actual human nature, I can see how many people wouldn't like this. Its main character is a generally unhappy individual who I often wanted to shake and yell at him "YOU CAN DO MAGIC. WHY AREN'T YOU HAPPY!?". At the same time, I empathized with Quentin and suspect many people, thrust in the same situation, would be in similar straits. Here's a gifted person who is extremely unhappy with reality as we know it - something that, given the rate of depression in America, I'd imagine a good number of people can relate to.
But look! Quentin is part of a magical world now, and for a time it's wonderful. But his general unhappiness rears its head back up because he didn't ever deal with it. He just covered it up with distractions.
Therein lies a major message of this book: Being magical won't solve the problems you have with yourself in the real world. It would make your life special and distract you for a bit with new shinies, but at the end of the day, you still have to live with yourself. And many people can't do that.
It's not a very positive message for a book and so some reviewers legitimately found that disappointing. I found it, as I said, refreshingly realistic. I enjoy "kid-finds-he's-special" fantasy as much as the next person, but it can create discord as you grow up and discover your life is...well...normal. In the end, every person who comes-of-age has to reconcile everyday life with their childhood fantasies and still find a way to be happy. Its a fact of life, and it was nice to see a fantasy novel tackle it.(less)
Disappointed. I generally enjoy Mercedes Lackey books and I wanted to like it, just because the main character was an suffragette woman doctor in Edwa...moreDisappointed. I generally enjoy Mercedes Lackey books and I wanted to like it, just because the main character was an suffragette woman doctor in Edwardian times (view spoiler)[(if I had liked the book, I might have warned future readers that if you are the sort who is anti-contraception, you'd probably find offense in Maya's doctorly duties) (hide spoiler)]. But no, the plot, magic system and villain were generic once they got going (made more predictable once I realized this was a retelling of Snow White). Shame, because I enjoyed the beginning and feel like this could've been a good book.(less)
3.5 stars. It's a fun and humorous fantasy romp with a bit of real-world problem relevancy that stays funny enough enough to avoid becoming too preach...more3.5 stars. It's a fun and humorous fantasy romp with a bit of real-world problem relevancy that stays funny enough enough to avoid becoming too preachy. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy that's on the wacky side.(less)
Now that I'm caught up, the order of favorites in this series (from favorite to least favorite): 1, 3 4, 5, 2.
Also, reading other people's reviews of...moreNow that I'm caught up, the order of favorites in this series (from favorite to least favorite): 1, 3 4, 5, 2.
Also, reading other people's reviews of different books in the series, I feel like I'm the only person doesn't care about Jon Snow's storyline. Okay. Let me rephrase that. I think the underlying developments are interesting (which is why I enjoyed Sam Tarly's bit), I just have no interest in what Jon Snow is doing in them.(less)
I need to not read the negative reviews of books after I finish, because I start realizing that their points were what was subconsciously bugging me t...moreI need to not read the negative reviews of books after I finish, because I start realizing that their points were what was subconsciously bugging me the entire book and it makes me rate books lower. This might be a good thing.
I really can't decide whether to round a 3.5 down or up mainly for one reason:
The sex scenes and the characters involved in them sometimes read like the author's fetishes. I remember thinking this while reading too, so it's not just a "this person had a good point in their review". (spoiler ahead?) Not to mention the whole 13/14 year old girl who get raped repeatedly by her arranged-marriage horse-lord husband and yet somehow it's okay because it brings them together and they eventually love each other. Um. No.
Besides that it was good, if not a little long winded and repetitive on the descriptions.(less)