This book was like my Diet Dr. Pepper that I left unscrewed overnight—flat, sickly-sweet, and thirst-quenching.
Basically this is book set way in the future, yet everyone lives like they’re still in the Dark-Ages. Remember in Sunday School when you were finished being told the story of Noah and the Ark, and the teacher sums it all by saying, “And now, every time you see a rainbow, remember that it is a sign of God’s promise to never destroy the world again with a flood,”? Well, ‘with a flood’ were the operative words--nightly demon attacks are another matter entirely. (It possibly makes more sense if you’re Jewish, just a conjecture)
So the book revolves around three characters and follows them through adolescence and into adulthood, spanning about 14 years. In the beginning they’re young you’re thinking, “Damn, these are some insightful kids.” Then they’re teenagers and all the idiotic things they do makes sense. Then two of the characters are in their late 20’s, but still act like teenagers and all the idiotic things they do does not make sense. I’m not going to lie, between epic virginity struggles, magical fiddling, and a loin-cloth wearing demon killer; the entire thing comes across as very juvenile. It’s main strength, however, is that it is an easy and enjoyable read and perhaps that quality would have been lost sans epic virginity struggles, magical fiddling, and a loin-cloth wearing demon-killer ( Explanation—he has to hunt in the nude so all of his tattoos can show).
Anyway, people often comment that in fantasy novels there are two sub-genres, those in which everything is black and white and good fights determinedly against forces of evil, and those in which most of the characters are morally bankrupt (For example, like when a character who bangs his own sister and attempts to murder a young child somehow becomes a favorite protagonist over whom you cry when he loses his hand…). This is definitely one of the former and for someone like me who has ‘loosely defined’ morals, many of the characters’ behaviors can seem outlandish (Who gets pissy because demons eat your rapists?). But it had some cool themes, even if they are way too obvious and over-used in the fantasy genre. (There is no threat too great; We must all stand-up and fight; Never settle for anything and embrace your true destiny) I hate having this complaint about a book, because it comes across as me saying “I could have done it better,” which I don’t honestly believe, but I felt it had amazing potential that it didn’t quite live up to (Yes, like the deadness of my poor soda). But bottoms up, because the series isn’t over yet and authors always have room to grow between novels. (less)
Easy and enjoyable read, which was disappointing. I wanted a little more depth. But I love how everyone seems to pick their favorite characters in thi...moreEasy and enjoyable read, which was disappointing. I wanted a little more depth. But I love how everyone seems to pick their favorite characters in this series, yet everyone differs on who those characters are.
So here's mine:
I really like Jezal for some reason. He's a stuck-up little dick-weed and you want to smack some sense into him, but he's very lovable at the same time. I also like Logen and West, flaws and all. They both seem to have strong moral character despite their many flaws and occasionally abhorrent actions.
Glokta--hell no. I hate him. There are no redeeming qualities that make me like him as a character. Same goes for Maljinn. She's simply to deranged to be likable.
Everyone else is very Blah..
Oh wait, one more character I don't particularly care for--Ardee. She's every bit as conceded as Jezal, only it's worse in her case because she can't see past her own intellectual and moral superiority.
Oh well, it just a book. Half of them will probably die before the series is over anyway. (less)
The biggest praise I can give this novel is that I found it to be well laid-out and eloquently writte...more*Warning---This entire review contradicts itself*
The biggest praise I can give this novel is that I found it to be well laid-out and eloquently written. The imagery and world building were fantastic, and all the characters were multi-dimensional and emotionally driven. Furthermore, it had a good plot. Yet at the same time it came off too flowery. Too much of a good thing I suppose you could say. Kvothe participated in a few too many interesting/humorous conversations and fought a few too many battles against people who hated him/undefeatable bosses/ his own inner turmoil.
Oddly, I'd say this is an excellent novel, but I didn't really like it. In many ways it was gilded--seemingly perfect on the outside, but lacking something within. (less)
The end of Fitz's journey is certainly a bittersweet one. Looking back on both of the trilogies that encompassed his character's life, I didn't see me...moreThe end of Fitz's journey is certainly a bittersweet one. Looking back on both of the trilogies that encompassed his character's life, I didn't see merely a fantasy story full of magic, dragons, and evil tyrants; I saw through to the fantasy of life that is universally filled with horrors and blessings for Six Dutchies and planet Earth denizens alike. Fitz's was the epic struggle to simply live life. Not all loose ends were tied, and many secrets were left forgotten. In the end, he wasn't known as a hero and his world wasn't suddenly a better place. But seasons changes, people married and had babies, and Fitz found peace.
Personally, I wanted more from Hobb than was given. In her efforts to keep Fitz's tale as an insufferably human one, he had to sacrifice everything, only to gain half of what he modestly wanted all along. After several thousand pages of Fitzchivalry Farseer, its awful for his story to come to an end. Of course, there are countless others to be told, and I'm just happy to be able to hold this one close to my heart.
Additional random musings: (spoilers) Okay, as a woman, I had a difficult time approving of any of Fitz's women. Especially his precious Molly. So, of course, the ending peeved me quite a bit. This is shameful to admit, but up until the end I kept hoping that the Fool was goin to pop out and be like "suprise! It dimples!" and she and Fitz would live happily ever after and have little fool's of there own. When it became apparent that it dangled, however, I still wanted Fitz to forget marriage and just be happy loving the Fool (without the bedding, of course). Not of that happened, and in addition he lost the Fool altogether. She ends the book by saying that a horse can only have one sadle, but I find that contradictory to what Fitz needed to learn. All his life, he had to choose. What he needed was compromise, and it never really happened.(less)
Poor Fitzy fitz. Just can't catch a break. Neither can I it seems. First George R.R. Martin, now Robin Hobb. Excellent (albeit very large) character d...morePoor Fitzy fitz. Just can't catch a break. Neither can I it seems. First George R.R. Martin, now Robin Hobb. Excellent (albeit very large) character drivin novels full of trial and trib....nope just trial. "See bad things happen to good people" they advertise. Why oh why do I keep reading them then?! It's likelucky charms with no marshmallows, or a love ballad with no lyrics. Yet somehow, bereft of all sweetness, the reader is left with something so much more satisfying than the regular, run of the mill 'good triumphs over evil' steriotype. I suppose, in the end, true heroism is defined by sacrifice not achievement.
At any rate, I found this second novel to be fantastic and depressing. See Fitz get his heart broken. See Fitz tortured and brutalized. See Fitz lose his humanity. See fitz die. How much worse can it get? I don't know, but I'm certain to find out. The farther the fall, the higher the bounce--right?(less)
I need closure. Its killing me. As dissapointed as I was that there was no Jon and very little Arya, not to mention a lot of characters I had no conne...moreI need closure. Its killing me. As dissapointed as I was that there was no Jon and very little Arya, not to mention a lot of characters I had no connection with, this book was still amazing. The weakest of the series, yet still way beyond most of the garbage out there. When Jamie popped up in SoS, I was amazed at my own ability to go from wishing for him to lose his head to crying over him losing his hand, so when Cercei popped up in this one I said "Hell no, no matter what Martin i'm always going to hate that bitch!" And contrary to what I feared, I only hated her even more by the end. Which was priceless by the way. Too bad I'll be 40 years old by the time the 6th book comes out, if it ever does. (less)
This was the most beautiful and fitting ending to one of the greatest trilogies I've ever read. These nove...morePhew, and I thought the first book was epic!
This was the most beautiful and fitting ending to one of the greatest trilogies I've ever read. These novels were pure, heart-felt magic.
I was apprehensive at first that this novel was set a whopping 10 years after the previous; but I should have know better. In the end it made no difference. Phedre and Joscelin are just so..so ..kick-ass. Who was I to think that would change?! I'll admit, it had lots of up's and downs. I was convinced my heart was going to break in Darsanga, but not even those horrors could best the duo. And much like them, I certainly didn't expect to fall in love with Imriel like I did. To me, that was the most beautiful touch to the story. The fact that they finally found a true family in the end, and all of the scars of the past they were able to simply wash away through love. I had hoped that Kushiel would release Phedre in the end, but hey, not everything in life can be wrapped up in a pretty bow.
Overall, the novel was brilliant. A little slow at the beginning, then half-way through BOOM! it became fabulous. Wonderful, dynamic characters. At one point I put my hands over my eyes and thanked God Phedre and Joscelin are pure fiction, because no couple that crazy need ever to walk the earth. A priest and whore...The makings of a truly good read. (less)
Not as much action as the first but still pretty good. I figured this one out by accident so the big mystery wasn't really a mystery. Ah well...Assyri...moreNot as much action as the first but still pretty good. I figured this one out by accident so the big mystery wasn't really a mystery. Ah well...Assyrian pirates were worth it. I actually cried during this one, which is something I haven't done in a long time and especially not over a damn book.
Of course, this is no simple book. This is the middle novel in one of the most planned out, epic adventures I've ever had the pleasure of reading. You fall head over heals for all of the characters, most especially Phedre. She is the ultimate female heroine. Beautiful, intelligent, lovable, and one of those characters that the reader can put their absolute trust in. Damn! I love these novels, they just take forever to read.
To me there is just one very big issue.... Melisande. I fell in love with Alcuin and Delauney in the first, then Fortun and Remy in the second. Each time she's responsible for their deaths, so It almost feels like a betrayal for Phedre still to be so conflicted over her. Just kill the bitch!! She's had several chances now and she didn't take them. If Phedre doesn't personally murder her in the next novel I'm going to be pissed. Enough said.
Anyway, to anyone who's started these novels-Keep Reading! I have a feeling this is a series I'm going to re-read many times in the future.(less)
...Actually one word isn't enough considering I just read a 1600 page novel. Yesterday, when I told my boyfriend that I had "naught to...moreOne word- Epic.
...Actually one word isn't enough considering I just read a 1600 page novel. Yesterday, when I told my boyfriend that I had "naught to do with it" and recieved a half-mocking, half-incredulous glare, I realized that perhaps I should have divested the novel through a few more sittings rather that devour it through every waking moment for three straight days! And during final exams week, nonetheless.
Despite this, I have mixed feelings. Part of me couldn't put it down, but another (weaker) part of me found it to be tedious and much too detailed to keep reading. In the beginning, I couldn't keep all the names together and was a complete loss politically. Emotions are easy enough to understand usually, but even those Carey made immensly complex. However, as fantastical as this novel is, I would consider it to be more human and realistically written than most of the garbage I read. It is a beautiful world and story, regardless of the fact that I seriously doubt the ancient world in which the novel was set was anything like it.
This book probably has the most unlikely couple of all time-- a whore and a priest. How inventive. Of course, the romance aspect was a little lacking anyway. Plenty of death, politics, S&M, and intricate plots...but no true romance. Perhaps it will bud in the later novels. All I know is that I have to find out. And soon. Whatever Melisande has up her sleeve this time I'm ready to find out.
*One final note* I give this book props for containing the most disturbing scene I've ever read. I didn't think old Selig had it in him. Ugghh...I'm cringing just thinking about it. (less)
**spoiler alert** So this book was along great, until finally I stumbled upon that WTF? moment. After that it was irredeemable. 4 stars got bumped dow...more**spoiler alert** So this book was along great, until finally I stumbled upon that WTF? moment. After that it was irredeemable. 4 stars got bumped down to 3. Seriously, was the middle of a prison break really the most opportune moment for the characters to vow their undying love to one another? I was repulsed, and dissapointed, and just plain pissed that all the cool underlying romantic tension just kind of got puked in my face. Then poetic sex on a filthy straw prison floor. Double eww. Poetic sex is disgusting enough on its own I think we'll all agree. This is completely out of character for me, but I liked everything about this novel except the retarded romance angle. Let's just stick to the ass-kicking, thank you.(less)
Hmmph. Did I like it? Yes. Did it meet my expectations? No.
*WARNING- sarcastic ranting ahead*
These books are so full of love, hope, and compassion it'...moreHmmph. Did I like it? Yes. Did it meet my expectations? No.
*WARNING- sarcastic ranting ahead*
These books are so full of love, hope, and compassion it's damn near overwhelming. In prior books it was their redeeming quality, but in this one (and perhaps the last two as well) it was their most suffocating quality. Each successive book in the series loses yet another key element that made the first so fantastic--and if I had to pinpoint what that is I'd say that her characters are going too soft on us. Sorcha and Laiden had wills of steel, and their struggles were both internal as well as physical. Now all I get are these mushy feelings that, due to the all-emcompassing power of love, everything is going to be alright. Hell, I might as well have just sat down and read the bible if that's what I was going for. I wanted action and big-boom for an ending, but all I got was a kind of dying out fizzle. Sure, Sibeal found true love. Big whoop. That's a given for a Juliet Marillier novel. Yeah, the ending left me with a big, dopey smile on my face. What HEA doesn't? But my problem is that Sibeal had it relatively easy. The gods always just told her what to do. Guy falls head over heels...she tames the sea-monster...she learns to love...hmmm...yeah that's about it. What the hell did I pay $14 for?! Everyone loved Sibeal, even the damned villians! Where's the tension in that? Oh right, there wasn't any. And that's why I only give this book 3 stars. I'm ready for a real plot Juliet. Take as long as you need, just so long as the next one has some damn intrigue. (less)
So I felt like the first book had a really awesome plot and romance, then the second had an awesome romance with an okay plot, and now this one had an...moreSo I felt like the first book had a really awesome plot and romance, then the second had an awesome romance with an okay plot, and now this one had an okay plot with a shitty romance. Wow...going downhill. But I'm going to read the next and hope it has a few suprises in store.(less)