"I sympathized with a sprocket..." so... describing this book:
There's this effect certain books have that goes sort of like this. The book sets out a f"I sympathized with a sprocket..." so... describing this book:
There's this effect certain books have that goes sort of like this. The book sets out a few puzzle pieces. None of them connect to each other. Before the author connects more of them, he puts out even more. On top of that he puts out a thumb tack, an eraser, and you're going "are these even supposed to be here? WTF is happening author?". But then at the very end of the book 2 or 3 more pieces bring it all together, and whether you want it to or not, it all makes sense and works finally. Ender's game did that for me.
This only grazed that effect.
I expected it to set up a bit of mystery yes. But I was also expecting a bit of revelation. Let's be honest, the only reason I spent money on this was cause Rothfuss just hasn't gotten to the third book yet. With all that said I didn't get the plot that I wanted out of it, or more of the details.
What I did get however were some of the ... philosophy, for lack of a better word, of the world of temerant. I got a better feel for Auri's weirdness. I sympathized with a sprocket, and understood (or at least remembered) how naming works.
TL;DR I won't remember it really, and a lot of it is slow. But I almost really enjoyed it.
It seems to be suited to those who want further detail of the world of Arda from very beginning and up to the RiThis was definitely a different read.
It seems to be suited to those who want further detail of the world of Arda from very beginning and up to the Rings of Power story. It often plays out more like a textbook or a bible than an actual story. Thus at times it felt more like homework than pleasure-reading. But I knew what I was getting into, so it didn't catch me by surprise. The biggest thing that probably got to me, was that as soon as I'd get attached to some character, that's when their story would end, and I'd hardly hear from them again. I was hoping I'd recognize some characters here and there from the Lord of the Rings, because I wanted some more history on those such as Galadriel, Elrond, Gandalf, but sadly they were never really elaborated on. If they weren't in the LOTR books, I wouldn't even have remembered their names. Lastly, I found it difficult to follow the maps offered, as the descriptions would often use multiple names for areas, or the lands were changed by the Valar too frequently. It was only by the map on page 148 that I'd finally begun fully following the geography described. Honestly I was debating between 3 and 4 stars, but settled with 4 because the stories are going to stick in my mind for quite some time.
Now that all that's out of the way, I wanted to mention the following: If Tolkien had had another 600 years of life, his future books for this world would have been marvelous. The LOTR section of the book plays out just like the previous stories, and if those stories could be elaborated to the same extent as LOTR I would be stuck reading it all. I liked the parallels to real world mythology (Tolkien did after all intend for Arda to be an older version of Earth), parallels such as Numenor being called Atalantë. It was fun picking them out and it added a level of believability (that's a word now, I can't think of the proper word =P). Beyond the "homeworky" aspect of it, I enjoyed the stories and it really filled the already extravagantly detailed world of Middle Earth.
Had Tolkien lived longer, I would have loved to see some extra details on Valinor, the 5th, 6th ages and so on, even the raising of Beleriand would have been wonderful to see. But at this point, I suppose only fan-fiction will cover that.
Again, don't read this if you're not really into some poorly-detailed but encompassing stories of Middle-earth.
P.S. Two things that helped me while reading this: 1. I didn't know how to fit Beleriand in Middle Earth (for example relative to Gondor or the Shire), and I realized halfway that the Blue Mountains to the very East of Beleriand, are the same one as the Blue Mountains on the coast of the middle-earth map in the third age (LOTR series). That explained a lot to me. 2. I read the lord of the rings wikia along with the silmarillion just to get more details and it helped to remember the names of places and people. ...more
I've learned that with GRRM there is no real catharsis. Just a faint glimmer of hope to see characters slowly and carefully make their way through th I've learned that with GRRM there is no real catharsis. Just a faint glimmer of hope to see characters slowly and carefully make their way through their dangers. Some of them have plot shielding, so there's no real worry of them dying, but that doesn't mean that their plot will fulfil itself... or be interesting... or move at all... (view spoiler)[I'm looking at you Dany (hide spoiler)]. ...more
This was a fun read. Lots of descriptive emotional fights.
In each section King does a good job of setting up an interesting plot which both Gotrek andThis was a fun read. Lots of descriptive emotional fights.
In each section King does a good job of setting up an interesting plot which both Gotrek and Felix test and demonstrate their skills. It kept me interested in short.
The one downside I would point out is the fact that each story has such minimal connectivity, that it may as well be a collection of short stories. I really wanted some of the villains or even support characters to pass over to the next story or even later on in the book. It left me wanting more elaboration.
Nevertheless, it was fun to read through. Felix's realistic character is a good juxtaposition to Gotrek's reliable presence. It makes the dwarf feel very alien as Felix feels Gotrek to be. ...more
This review will not be necessarily for this book, but also for the series. I overall liked this series. Each book had something that I did enjoy abouThis review will not be necessarily for this book, but also for the series. I overall liked this series. Each book had something that I did enjoy about it, but we'll start with the downfalls.
In my opinion, the books keep setting up majestic and epic scenarios, but falls short of accomplishing them. They have lots of potential, yet never quite get there. For example, in the ending of this book (dragon fate) the climax is quite short and poorly described. The action is well described, but there are way too many stray plot threads.
I may read the series again sometime in the future, but i still didn't fully comprehend what the lavadome was made of that made it so special, what the crystals were etc. I thought they were used as ambiguous plot devices, but book 5 hinted towards an explanation of them. So far, i've hypothesized that it's a giant time machine, it may be an advancement of technology (though that doesn't explain the mind control), The red queen returns, and I'm still not sure quite how. The antagonist in this book was a bit of a surprise to me, because I REALLY liked him. The choices that he made turned him rather stupid at the end, whereas he was brilliant before. I was also hoping Ankelmere would somehow return. Though i suppose in some fashion he did, not a very fulfilling one. And as with all the books, the human characters really lose importance. For example Hieba returns only in one minor scene. Grettel was... new i suppose but I didn't feel her need to be part of the book really. Another example is the offspring of the Dragonblade (or his grandson, i lost track). Book 5 sets him up for something big, but in 6 he... doesn't do much. Each dragons' hatchlings (AuRon's and Wistala's) were given very little plot and development (especially development). Towards the middle of books 4, 5, and 6 they are all pretty much forgettable. And quite frequently, some dragons are stupid. Outright stupid. Obviously none of the protagonists share this.
Now for the good parts. Each of the siblings once again, demonstrates how useful they are in battle, in politics, how intelligent they can be, and how they simply want a happy life at the end of it all.
By far my favorite dragon was TYR RuGaard. I compared him to Napoleon (first wife couldn't bare children, fought overseas, gained power after a royal line, was exiled, had diminishing physical characteristics, etc.) His leadership skills are unequaled to anyone else' in the books. He shows quick wit, right when his death seems most imminent (which with his crippled state seems frequent). And at the end of the day, his intentions for his empire were benevolent. He is so impressively charming he can steal your troops from under you. AuRon demonstrated his intelligence through justifying his previously preposterous precautions of the empire and what was going on in it. He's as intelligent as the Tyr, but in different ways. With Wistala, she maintained her wits about her in battle, when ambushed, etc., but she didn't make much of a dent in my opinion of her. Other memorable dragons (in this book particularly) were Shadowcatch and Dharsii, The plot was much more memorable than books 4 and 5, even if it still jumped over important sections too quickly.
If I had to pick a favorite/most-well-written book out of the series, I'd go with the first one. It's the most mystical ride, has the introductory magic, and feels most like an adventure. It's the most well paced. In my opinion at least. I enjoyed reading these books, it was fun waiting to find out what became of each dragon. Oh, and Knight, thanks for hiring an editor. You still had a couple of name swaps, and a misspelling of "thorough the wall", but it was I'd wager, a normal amount of typos :). ...more
Before I begin this review I have to say, Knight, hire an editor. And if you already have one, replace him/her.
Having a few typos i can forgive. HavinBefore I begin this review I have to say, Knight, hire an editor. And if you already have one, replace him/her.
Having a few typos i can forgive. Having a dozen typos I can agree to forget, misspellings, an extra "that" etc. Having a double zero ("00") for no reason in the middle of a paragraph amongst other such things gets to you after a while.
Now for the book.
It's the continuation of the 3 siblings stories and how their lives get more intricate with the politics governing the newly founded upper and lower realm Great Alliance. Namely, AuRon doesn't need anything from the Alliance, however, all his family members tend to find something in it, estranging him slightly. Wistala is "offered" a high position with many responsibilities, and this can put her in situations she'd rather not be in. RuGaard, as always, is in the difficult position of a leader, where he can never please everyone. He can satisfice and leave everyone with a manageable miserableness.
What I did like about this book is the development of each character, or more so, their relationships with each other. At one point I even found myself comparing the copper to the godfather.
What I didn't like was that the world that Knight painted, is kind of done and there's nothing new to bring to the table. This may not necessarily be Knight's fault, but it did bring it down for me. I also didn't like how the only significant characters (the ones I actually cared about) were only the siblings. Everyone else (especially if not a dragon, due to short life-span) loses significance and their actions just seem to be either there for the sake of it, or there to put a peg in the 3 siblings existence.
I just liked it, 3 stars. It wasn't bad. I will be gladly awaiting the 6th installment. ...more
This book has a few setbacks when compared to the previous. I found the few typos distracted me from the story. And at one point, I'm pretty sure thatThis book has a few setbacks when compared to the previous. I found the few typos distracted me from the story. And at one point, I'm pretty sure that instead of saying "AuRon" the author accidentally says "the copper" which left me very confused. The last 100 pages felt forced, I didn't enjoy reading it, and i feel ripped off cause there was a massive build up towards the final battle. And it all cheaps out at the end. Also there's actual magic being used by the red queen. The previous books had no such thing, and it was all rumors within the story. This meant that you needed something as interesting as magic within realistic terms for the story, where as now because the author did use magic, it feels like a deus ex machina. The crystal that the queen gave auron allowed her to control him, but when the copper placed it in his bad eye he was fine, which i didn't understand.
There were parts I enjoyed, though not as many or as deep as the previous three books. The meeting point between the three siblings is well built up towards and explained, but they don't quite talk much more after that, The siblings each had their moments of glory, and they stayed within character, AuRon being a sleek fighter and a good diplomat, Wistala being knowledgeable about Hypat and such, The copper Tyr being a fairly wise leader. Though i didn't feel any significance from any hominid characters other than the queen.
Anyway, i was not impressed with this book, and it left me skeptical of the next two. We'll see......more
This one was different from the first two (they are all different in some respect). First off, you realI'd recommend this to anyone who loves dragons.
This one was different from the first two (they are all different in some respect). First off, you really get to sympathize for the treacherous copper, you learn his side of it all. To put it in perspective, from very early on, he has a crippled limb, an injured eye, an injured wing, later he loses a toe, and a good chunk of his hide, etc. This poor thing can hardly fight or fly, yet still finds somehow to keep up his end. His thinking for the most part, is quite different from the other two dragons. He has values, and he is smart at times, at others, he seems rash, or even easily intimidated. Once again, he is different from AuRon or Wistala. And as the story progresses he grows a substantially different view of how the world should be. He also possesses some leadership skills.
I liked the use of bats in the storyline, they really add depth to the experience. And some cute conversation.
This book had action (one war, and two major battles), though not as much as the other two. I'd say, it did have a lot more politics. And the read is quite emotional when you look at the copper's perspective. Amongst all the conniving treachery, the lecherous politics of the lava dome, you practically get a re-enactment of the dragons from Silverhigh (if you've read the other two books, you know what this is).
I still don't quite know what a griffaran is exactly, even after the description. It's apparently a two-tailed large bird that acted as body-guards for the lavadome for a while. Also, Knight introduces a new class of hominids called Demen, which... don't really do anything significant to the plot. From the description, they sound like... a demon. And I expected them to play a significant part and establish themselves, but they didn't.
As with the other two books, the story is in a parallel timeline, and the plot overlap is kept to a minimal. There's two non-dragon characters that appear in the other books, and though I was quite impressed with one of them, the latter really disappointed me. I don't want to spoil it, but I really feel he'd turn out to be a good guy. I suppose he needed to pay for his deeds.
The story-line was engaging, and well written. 5-stars...more
I couldn't say this until I read book two but now I can Because books 1 2 and 3 are written in a parallel timeline, and they don't overlap too much, yoI couldn't say this until I read book two but now I can Because books 1 2 and 3 are written in a parallel timeline, and they don't overlap too much, you can pretty much read any one first, without any spoilers really, (haven't read 3 yet).
Seeing AuRon's side of the story was thrilling, very scary, exciting, and set up a large world. Seeing Wistala's side of the story was less gory, and a little less threatening, but still wonderful. The world set up in the first book is built up more elaborately in the second, (for example, we get to see more of an elf's lifestyle with Rainfall, wistala's "adoptive father", as a main character). AuRon did show intelligence, and development, which I loved. But Tala seems to be much more cunning when it comes to deceiving her enemies. It's good because they have their own proficiencies, their own different personalities. With the previous book, I felt that characters like (the Dragonblade) didn't get enough elaboration, and it's provided in book 2.
One aspect of both books that I've found interesting, is the lack of any "magic". Albeit there are some events the characters would call magic, they are each explained (by chemistry, engineering etc.). So far, I've liked the consistency in the world built by Knight. The characters really do feel vulnerable in a realistic sense.
Basically, as the books progressed, it built on something that was already very good, in E.E. Knight's beautiful, descriptive and sometimes witty style which I'm growing quite fond of. And the storyline, although less of a roller-coaster ride in my opinion than book one, is still very interesting. ...more
I would have given it five stars, but at times i found the descriptions difficult to follow along. It's the writing style that was odd for me. And theI would have given it five stars, but at times i found the descriptions difficult to follow along. It's the writing style that was odd for me. And there were a few scenes i felt deserved more importance, but were over-looked. Either that or my brain was fried from exams, now for the good stuff.
The story-line was very compelling. There were many, many interesting and well played scenes. The characters are each important in their own right.
I especially loved AuRon's development. The way he thinks changes as the book progresses, not only due to the fact that he's no longer a lizard sized hatchling, but because of the friends he's met and lost. I might be biased with this book because I absolutely LOVE dragons, and I liked the descriptive anatomy that progressed through the book (the fire-breathing, the wing development, the fact that they have two hearts, etc).
My biggest issue through the book, was probably my own fault. I had a hard time visualizing AuRon while he was young (which is for the first 2 thirds of the book) because I had a hard time remembering his size/scale, or I kept confusing him with the dragon from "How to train your dragon". I blame this more on my own mind than on the author's narration.
The narrative kept teasing at Wistala, his lost sister, whom we never see after she escapes the first raid on their home cave, which I guess must've been a ploy to encourage for the second book. And it worked on me.
I'm really sad I couldn't get on the boat when this came out, because now I'm too old to enjoy it properly. When my sister turns 10 I'll make sure sheI'm really sad I couldn't get on the boat when this came out, because now I'm too old to enjoy it properly. When my sister turns 10 I'll make sure she has a go at reading it, because it is genuinely fun and exciting for a younger audience. Also Dumbledore's lines are some of my favorite (view spoiler)[it's a secret, so naturally the whole school knows (hide spoiler)]
Since I just wanted to get this off my check list, I stupidly applied logic to it frequently (I can't help it okay!). Though it usually works there are some holes in it. One reason I don't usually like books about magic is because the author can always come up with some new spell, charm or item that solves the unsolvable problem.
The biggest issue I have is that Harry basically gets not expelled when breaking rules that are certain to get him expelled. He's special cause he's the protagonist so consequences don't have to be as drastic for him as for others. That's what it feels like. I mean, just as an example (view spoiler)[Harry and the gang basically get a severe case of favoritism from Dumbledore when he awards them 160 points. It might have been a little bit earned, but hot damn you just earned a third of what slytherin has earned in a year. Wow... (hide spoiler)]
I always wondered why Harry wasn't kept more secret by giving him a name change and doing something with his scar. If he was so famous as a child he might have been in some amount of danger, especially if people weren't sure that Voldemort was actually dead.
It seemed a bit odd to me that Harry trusted Hagrid (a big lumbering scraggly giant he's never met before as far as he knows) so easily. I also didn't get why the Dursleys went out of their way to not get rid of Harry, maybe so they didn't have to pay for the school, but I figure Harry's stash of gold was enough for that.
Then there's a few plot questions, for example: (view spoiler)[Why did Hermione lie about the troll thing when she said she actively hunted it down? Couldn't she just have said I was having some personal problems so I went to the washroom and was caught by it then Harry saved me so can you just give 10 pts to Gryfindor? (hide spoiler)]
Another thing that stood out for me is that there's so much use of animal parts that I'm surprised there wouldn't be a magical PETA organization in this haha (not really a criticism, just a fun thought XD)
Why was fluffy so easily accessible by first year students? You'd think that an object could be guarded better than the wit of 10 year olds, but I'm not ACTUALLY holding this against the book. I fully acknowledge the intended audience (but will stubbornly not give up my logic =P)