It's been a while since I've read as high fantasy as this one is. It's good, and reminds me why fantasy was the first genre I loved, and also remindsIt's been a while since I've read as high fantasy as this one is. It's good, and reminds me why fantasy was the first genre I loved, and also reminds me some of the pitfalls of high fantasy as well. Its well written. Like many high fantasy books it has alien words and names to give your head a spin (I didn't know it until I'd finished the book that there was a glossary of pronunciations, which help score this a little higher, and wish I had seen that part sooner).
The plusses to this story (and high fantasy in general) has a lot of action, but can be a bit of a slow broil up to that point though, so not as fast paced as a thriller, excites the imagination, very descriptive, and has lots of different types of creatures and characters, of which many (if not all) are interesting. There is a possible love interest (Eragon's fortune was told foreshadowing it), which I like, and most love interests in high fantasy is more like boy meets girl, which is ok.
Some of the downsides of high fantasy (depending on the author) are: too descriptive, so much so that although you get the prettiest and clearest painting of events happening in your mind, it is at the cost of pacing, ergo, pacing. On the whole, high fantasy is not nearly as fast paced as I would desire now days (in this regard, give me a thriller any day, or better yet one for kids or teens, those are super fast paced, due to requiring to pack in as much as possible into a smaller package) but will most of the time give me enough to be ok with it. Length is another issue for me now days than say roughly 10 years ago. There are some stories I love that are high fantasy, for instance, Lord of the Rings and the Sword of Shannara series, but I don't have the patience to read them now, and have tried many times to get through the first book of Shannara and failed. In fact, this book's length just about challenged my patience for length and pacing. Looks like if I want a high fantasy read, I'm going to be with teens and younger, which is ok, but there is a small part of me that would like to visit Brooks' world again.
Terry Brooks is very descriptive, and takes a long while in the first book to get some action going, and his books are an example of description hurting pacing, but would be very good as a film, if the film followed the book verbatim. The movie may indeed be shorter in length of time spent watching it, than reading it, because all the visual imagery is immediate, and the film could just focus on storytelling, and not painting the scenery, but of course the scenery is critical to staying the same, if you want it to be based off of his works. Anyway, I digress.
I just finished this book today, and look forward to the next one.
Oh, another common element in high fantasy, rarely is the story only one book, but the first book sets up the rest of the series (at least for a duration of up to about book 5 or 6, give or take).
The pattern in the first book (and in high fantasy)is that a young character, who is ignorant or naive of the broader events going on around him (sometimes her, but mostly him), gets caught up in those events with a band of different characters, usually at least one of those characters will train the young person, they go on a quest (or multiple), get to certain point(s) in there destination where choice(s) will have to be made, battling or evading evil along the way with usually some tragedy interspersed, and by a certain point in the journey, a pivotal moment happens, and so ends book 1, either as a cliff hanger or enough of a wrap up and teaser to get the reader wanting to read the next book.
This book does follow the typical pattern of high fantasy. I don't really give away the specifics, but read enough fantasy, and you've got the gist of it....more
I like the fact that this book is a continuation of the previous book, Zen and the Art of Vampires,and I also like that Christian and Allie show up inI like the fact that this book is a continuation of the previous book, Zen and the Art of Vampires,and I also like that Christian and Allie show up in this book as well. Allie more as a cameo, but Christian is a secondary character here.
Over all the book was good, and continued nicely from the previous book to this one. The ending of this one, once it was revealed, made me go, "What? Whoa, you mean to tell me this whole time this situation was happening that it was something so simple, and got this messed up?! (and it involves these people????)" Needless to say, I wasn't expecting the ending, which is good, because many times I can anticipate the ending in so many books, and my guesses are usually right. It's nice when I get something different, but honestly with this book, I wasn't sure how it was going to end, but I wasn't expecting this ending for sure. I was surprised who the characters that started it all, and that they were still around too. I can't say the names because that is one of the biggest reveals at the end, but I'm sure some astute people will guess it right from reading this.
For the most part the thing I liked best is that the author stuck with some characters that we had already known before, and it gave us a bit different view of Christian and what he does. I can't remember if in the previous books where Christian is present if it mentions that he is a counsel member, one of the leaders of the Dark Ones, but he is here....more