The so-called greatest debut of latest years. It's totally fitting. It sounds just as egocentric, self-absorbed, puffed out, conceited, etc etc as maiThe so-called greatest debut of latest years. It's totally fitting. It sounds just as egocentric, self-absorbed, puffed out, conceited, etc etc as main character person of this "book", Kvothe the Most GAR Being in the Entire Multiverse. Kvothe is perfect genius: he plays instruments like a god, even with strings missing, without practice and having heard the song only a couple of times; he can learn a language in a day and decipher things in a matter of minutes; every conversation he has consists of him "explaining" things to moronic idiots aka the rest of humanity; all women (and some men) love him from the bottom of their hearts and weep for his excellence; and if somebody does not like him, they are the blackest villain, and stupid to boot.
I have never, ever encountered an official freaking GARY STU who is praised by virtually every other character in a book. Even standard-issue Mary Sue's got enemies whom they have trouble fighting. Apparently, Kvothe is beyond that. That's how awesome he is.
Plot, what plot? It's slice of life story about the 20-something oh so eventful life of Kvothe the Everyone's Idol. Other characters? Not important, disregard, you have Kvothe. World building? Oh, there's a ton of flowing poetry, but nothing distinctive. I personally imagined the world as Lord of the Rings-esque plains and mountains and the city as 17th century London. No idea how they should like - you get lots of description of lush green plants like a fragile bird's song shining in moonlight of the setting sun, but you still don't know where the heck on the map you are.
I managed to slog through it only because I suffered psychical breakdown on page 180 and started scribbling snarky notes and flower doodles on the margins. (I never do that, even with dictionaries.) I must admit it actually turned the experience from painful to bearable, otherwise I would have to sue myself for property damage.
The book still receives one star because Kvothe's story (which, by the way, he didn't even have to tell - nobody begged him to do it) is going to take an entire trilogy and then the somewhat interesting events of first few chapters are to fit into another trilogy. No. Just, no....more
Continuation of The Blade Itself, and a worthy one. It's hard to say what it's about, so let's just say that the journey continues. Without propheciesContinuation of The Blade Itself, and a worthy one. It's hard to say what it's about, so let's just say that the journey continues. Without prophecies. Without children pre-destined to save the world. Even if it world saving the characters are doing, the group involved in that typical quest experiences some welcome (by the reader) bumps in their road. Then we have a field war and a siege, which should satisfy the more bloodthirsty readers. It looks like more political struggle will emerge in the next volume. Just perfect.
The only qualm I had with this book is that it is divided into three subplots which don't interact with each other. You can simply read the chapters in them one by one - they're interwoven only to alleviate time jumps between them. Abercrombie also avoids physical description of his characters, which I find slightly irksome, but only because I'm very curious. The characters are great strength of this book. It's rare to see such alive and deep characters as those in First Law. Each POV has their own style of narration, which helps understand them better. It's amazing. Some minor things may appear a bit unrealistic, but overall the book is great. Although it's really 4.5 stars, I'm giving 5 simply because Abercrombie's writing is the best thing I've read in last 2 years, not counting classics like Poe....more
I approached the third Mistborn book with caution - after all, this is a very serious situation for our heroes, one that calls for 'miracle' ending orI approached the third Mistborn book with caution - after all, this is a very serious situation for our heroes, one that calls for 'miracle' ending or some other deus ex machina. Nothing really helps the reader throughout the novel. It's even hard to summarize what was happening. The purpose for majority of the threads was to show us the true nature of Ruin, the complexity and span of the plot, and how it linked to the hints dropped in previous volumes. Each chapter is preceded with an excerpt from a survivor's essay (not that it reveals much; honestly, who expects a total 'death of everything' ending in an epic fantasy novel?). These excerpts contain a whole load of info about the setting, the way things work, as well as explanations behind some of the facts. So, basically, Sanderson has us wondering over the setting and tiny twists of the plot, instead of brainstorming how the heck the characters are going to solve their Big Problem.
I personally like learning about the world and its laws, but I guess many people would get bored because... nothing really happens. Some threads are even totally redundant to main plot. The results they produce could be done differently in 100 pages less.
Then there are walls of text - philosophical musings, religion crisis, etc. I didn't mind many of these, but some were boring. The one thing that I explicitly didn't like was romance. Sanderson introduced 3 romance threads in The Well of Ascension and they were mostly okay (it needs to be noted that I hate romance in novels), but the fourth one in The Hero of Ages was totally inedible.
The ending itself was strangely satisfying. Sanderson managed to surprise me several times during this novel, and the ending also wasn't totally predictable. I enjoyed it a lot till the very last phase, which seemed a bit far-fetched. I've seen some interpretations of the ending from religious point of view - in my opinion, it wasn't that forced. There are fantasy novels where the religious side of the author is more pronounced. It didn't bother me, at least.
Overall, the third volume was a good conclusion to the series - but don't bother reading it if you didn't like previous books....more
Lord Ruler is dead. One year after the Collapse of the Empire, Elend Venture tries his best to keep his little kingdom of a city afloat. His father'sLord Ruler is dead. One year after the Collapse of the Empire, Elend Venture tries his best to keep his little kingdom of a city afloat. His father's army already camps outside the city walls, only to be joined by another party. Meanwhile, Sazed and Vin notice some peculiarities in the mists' behavior...
The vast majority of this book is politicking - tossing the ball from one party to another, undermining others' positions, everything to gain an upper hand in the game. Setting up a new government is a tough job - and it's great to see something like this in a fantasy novel, even if it can be a bit boring sometimes. Usually in fantasy the evil army and all problems disappear together with the death of the evil tyrant, which is just ridiculous. Here, the politics stuff is much more mature and complex than I expected. Even though all turns of events were rather reasonable, it was hard not to anticipate some 'big savior' event that would turn the tide.
It's the fantasy thread in this novel that seems too underdeveloped. The mists could have got more attention in the first half of the book (but maybe they'll be the focus of the 3rd volume, so no complaining). In the end, their thread seems rushed. There was a lot of building up the suspense and out of sudden everything's in motion and bam! - major milestone, end of book. To say more would be a spoiler, but now I'm really curious (trying not to be pessimistic...) what Sanderson will do with this new threat.
Overall, it was a solid read, rather slow, without fast action, but with enough suspense and edge....more