I really loved the Prologue, and the world-building, but the characters and the story just somehow fell short. I think the main problem was that it waI really loved the Prologue, and the world-building, but the characters and the story just somehow fell short. I think the main problem was that it was just sooo tedious. Everything took extremely long, and the same conflicts came up again and again. Overall it made the book feel boring quite often. This was just too slow, even for the epic-fantasy genre.
I'm not sure if I'm going to read the next book of the trilogy. It looks much like more of the same....more
This book had some truly awesome moments, especially around the wizard initiation ritual ("Go and earn your power!"). Unfortunately, apart from theseThis book had some truly awesome moments, especially around the wizard initiation ritual ("Go and earn your power!"). Unfortunately, apart from these few memorable pages, Range of Ghosts becomes just an average epic fantasy book.
At the core, the problem lies in that epic fantasy books, by nature, rely on their awesome scope - potentially large number of PoVs, events that shape the world, many locations, many different-but-overlapping conflicts/problems... things like that - to entertain. Usually they don't try to be full of action-scenes and in general set a slow(er) pace than their urban fantasy counterparts for instance.
(There are a few exceptions to this, books that are coincidentally the best in the epic fantasy genre in my opinion - most notable examples are The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson. There is not many of them, and the reason is that they're incredibly difficult to get right - as we're seeing here.)
So let's see what Range of Ghosts features from the above: - PoVs? Four, in fact, but two of which with barely any chapters. This isn't a problem in itself; four viewpoints should usually be enough - however, 2-3 of these are usually very near each other, and therefore only offer a vaguely different perception of the events. - World-shaping events? Well, kind of. I suspect that the rest of the series will fare better in this regard, but a fact is a fact: this is not an epic book in this regard. - Many locations? Well, our protagonists do travel a lot, but there is just not much difference between the locations, as they are described. I do not really see the different cultures, apart from a very few surface things, like how people dress - but, for instance, never in how they behave. - Different conflicts/problems? No, there is only one (serious) conflict (some sect vs the world), and that's all, be happy with it.
"All right, fine, it's not a good epic fantasy book. But is it any good with the action?" - you could ask. However, I'm afraid the answer is "not really". See, the book pretends to be epic fantasy, so there are fighting scenes very rarely, and they are not even written that well. Some vague description of a few engagements, but I didn't feel the chaos and the intensiveness of a well-written combat scene.
Outside of the combat scenes, the story creeps forward very-very slowly. This is usually all right in epic fantasy books, because - once again - they're not like action movies: in fact, quite the opposite, they try to amaze you with their cool ideas, colorful world and vast scope.
Now there are some fairly cool ideas featured in Range of Ghosts, but they are just not awesome, and not significant enough to save it. As I already mentioned, the world feels rather uniform and boring, with very little real variety.
The characters are much the same. I can't recall a single character from the entire story who caught my interest in any way. They're just like the rest of their world: different-appearing on the surface, but quite the same in essence.
There's definitely potential for an epic scope however, in later books. The story does have this potential, but it goes mostly unexploited throughout the opening book of the Eternal Sky series. In that case, this book is a mere prologue, which was blown up to a full book's size.
So overall, while it is a fine book, Range of Ghosts is not really remarkable. Read once, then forget. It is disappointing, because the cover text looked very promising. Anyhow, I will try the second book sometime to see if there's any hope for the series....more
The Emperor's Soul is one of the best books I've read recently... probably since reading the Mistborn trilogy, by the very same author.
My only complaiThe Emperor's Soul is one of the best books I've read recently... probably since reading the Mistborn trilogy, by the very same author.
My only complaint is that it's so, so very short. However, I do understand that stretching the story would have hurt it, would have left it devaluated. This novel, and this level, this proficiency - hell, this mastery of writing is a great art itself.
The story is so beautiful, so epic, and simply so grand (I'm running out of adjectives here...) that I feel like crying... crying like a newborn baby, who has been forced to leave the warmth and safety of the womb, and experience this harsh, cold world.
I feel as if I should demand that Brandon Sanderson wrote a sequel. And another. A whole series! But that would be not understanding the perfection of this tale. You cannot replicate it - don't even try. There can't be another story that's perfect in the same fashion as The Emperor's Soul.
That said, I find that this idea - the concept of Forgery - intriguing. Possibly one of the most interesting kinds of magic I have ever read about. It's often told in various fantasy novels that magic is an art - but I find that it has never been really true. Brandon Sanderson has managed to create something incredible here.
Overall: a must-read for anyone who fancies a little fantasy now and then. Seriously - read it... and then check out the author's other books. Brandon Sanderson - my salutations to you!...more
Kind of had enough of the series for a while. Book 1 was great, but very dark and depressing. Book 2 was good, not as dark, but not as interesting eitKind of had enough of the series for a while. Book 1 was great, but very dark and depressing. Book 2 was good, not as dark, but not as interesting either. Book 3 so far is only vaguely interesting.
I might get back to reading this series at some point, because I'm very curious to see the end. However, I'm put off by the fact that the series has been drawn out for so long - for example, Book 4 appears to be about the past of the characters, which I'm not really interested in....more