Gail Z. Martin amazes me. The intricate nature of her story telling, the solid skill of her writing...The Shadowed Path is a series of stories she's wGail Z. Martin amazes me. The intricate nature of her story telling, the solid skill of her writing...The Shadowed Path is a series of stories she's written separately over a span of years, and yet each one remains consistent, the thread unbroken. This is characteristic of all of Martin's writing. She is a powerhouse.
Of course, one of the drawbacks of pulling together a collection of individual but related stories is that each was written with the expectation that some readers will be coming into the universe cold and uninformed. That leads to a lot of repetition from story to story. In fact, when I initially started reading I missed the fact that this was a collection and not a novel because the continuity was that solid, the story line unbroken. However, after the third segment or so of encountering a recap of who people were and what the caravan was like had me going back to the description and discovering the error in my perception. That helped a lot as I just let the repetition slide past me and focused on the story. I would have liked to have seen these stories novelized rather than collected, with the repetition culled out, but even so this was a solid, enjoyable collection rich with detail and frenetic with action.
Fans of Jonmarc or those meeting him for the first time will grow strong in their loyalty to this steadfast, if ill-fated young man. A great gateway to the Winter Kingdom novels, for any not already familiar with them....more
Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors. One reason for that is her rich, detailed writing style, the other is her dynamic skill as an author. IMercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors. One reason for that is her rich, detailed writing style, the other is her dynamic skill as an author. I have read one or two books in this series but at some point fell behind. However, even coming back in at volume 12 I was not lost. I felt right at home with the characters as if I had only been away a short while, I even caught the references to those earlier books I had read. That speaks of skill.
I enjoyed this book very much, the way elements seemingly unrelated were woven to tell this tale and the way I felt as if I were peering through a window at segment of a life unfolding, though I do have to say the beginning felt a little rambling until I had enough pieces to see how things linked together. Of particular note are the way history and fantasy are interwoven to create a reality both recognizable and unique.
I love this reality the author has created and intend to get caught up on the intervening volumes I've missed....more
This book was received for free from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Threading the Needle is the sequel to ShatteriThis book was received for free from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Threading the Needle is the sequel to Shattering the Ley.
This epic fantasy novel by Joshua Palmatier is not a book to be selected lightly. It is well written and richly detailed, but at 498 pages just itself, it is a serious commitment, without taking into account it is a part of a series. If you like involved stories as intricate and rich as a woven tapestry, this is definitely the book for you. You will not be disappointed. It is full of action, danger, and intrigue, the interplay between characters and social groups understandable and interesting.
Threading the Needle is about survival after a catastrophic collapse of a complex magic system and the society that it sustained. You have groups just trying to survive, others grabbing at power previously out of their reach, and some, like Kara Tremain, who foresee that the danger from the magical collapse is not over and are looking for a way to correct the damage before the unstable mage energy—or ley—destroys all that the survivors have managed to rebuild and even the world itself. All of them are dealing with a scarcity of resources and unexpected changes in their reality…and sometimes their person…due to the magical fallout.
I must confess that I had not read Shattering the Ley before undertaking Threading the Needle. This made reading the book a little bit of a challenge, but not as much as you would think. For the most part the author did a great job adding refresher detail to this book that made up for any gaps in my knowledge due to not reading the previous one. There were only a few places toward the end where I found myself a little lost as the intense action did not allow for the type of exposition that would have made things more clear to me. This did not greatly impact my enjoyment of the book or my ability to follow the story.
To be truthful, there was very little I did not enjoy about this book. However, it did trigger a few of my pet-peeves.
The first one is the formatting of the text. It was sloppy and at times confusing, with bad breaks or no breaks where there should be. This is likely because what I received was an advance reader copy, or at least I hope it is, and is all on the publisher, not the author. For the most part this was just a minor annoyance and did not prevent me from enjoying the book.
The second one was a copyediting issue, little inconsistencies that pulled me from the story. The biggest of these was toward the end of the book, when the wrong character’s name was used in a pretty important scene. I was able to figure out what was going on, but this distraction was a little too visible and pulled me from the story at a critical point.
The final pet peeve, unfortunately, is my mother of all pet peeves and is likely the primary reason this book did not receive 5 stars from me. Names. Names are very, very important. They need to fit the universe you are creating and not interfere with the readers suspension of disbelieve. I have a real problem immersing myself in a book completely when names are discordant with my expectations. In a second-world epic fantasy I expect to see fantastic names…as in names I would not generally see if I picked up a phone book or a newspaper. Names that are not a usual part of my everyday world. This goes for both people and places. When I see names I do not expect to see in this fantasy realm—particularly if they are side by side with names that do look like they belong there—they create a disruption in the journey. For me, this is particularly amplified when everyday names appear intermingled with fantasy names. This might not seem a big deal. I mean, if the story is good enough you won’t even notice after a while, right? To some extent yes. But what this mingling of names does, for me at least, is set up expectations. When I see recognizable names in a fantasy setting the back of my mind starts looking for signs that this is the world I live in and when something is there in the description that echoes that potential my mind latches onto it and gets snagged, which means I’m not completely focused on the story being told. Did I enjoy the story? Most definitely, but at the same time I was always conscious of the names.
All in all, this was a fantastic book, in all regards of the word. The strength and skill of the storytelling kept me engaged and the concepts and details of the history were intriguing. Threading the Needle is well worth the investment of both time and resources. ...more
This story was both gripping and terrifying. I really connected with the character and felt the dread she experienced as she faced her fears, not compThis story was both gripping and terrifying. I really connected with the character and felt the dread she experienced as she faced her fears, not completely understanding all of what she faced but coming out stronger for it.
I love this author's writing and find it continually surprising and versatile, each story unique unto itself but consistent in quality from one piece to the next. ...more
I wanted to enjoy this book and for the most part the story was fairly good, but too much of the tension depended on the main character defiantly doinI wanted to enjoy this book and for the most part the story was fairly good, but too much of the tension depended on the main character defiantly doing the wrong thing and then angsting over whether or not she did the wrong thing. At the beginning of the book this was kind of understandable and forgivable with Aurora having been torn from her world and having to deal with a complete new one she doesn't understand, but by the end of the book this just made her unsympathetic as repeatedly she runs headlong into trouble regardless of the consequences to herself and others, all the while justifying it in her head.
Too many points of the story were run into the ground with constant repetition in the narrative, with the same details repeating over and over again, as if we might have forgotten along the way...again.
That having been said, I really enjoyed the magic system and the descriptions of the world, though way too many times Aurora was sharing details about her surroundings she really should not have known.
This author has some serious potential, but she also needs a serious developmental editor to help her achieve it....more