This book (actually two books - it's an omnibus) was a mixed bag for me. I liked the unpretentious road adventure tone of the first novel. It had deceThis book (actually two books - it's an omnibus) was a mixed bag for me. I liked the unpretentious road adventure tone of the first novel. It had decent world building without info dumps, decent characters, decent plot that was neither completely predictable nor full of surprises, somewhat standard fantasy settings with victimized non-humans and church being evil. It felt as if I could simply turn my brain off and enjoy the ride.
Second part tried to be more ambitious though. Once more varied elements were introduced, the book started to fill up with tiny plot holes and pet peeves and inconsistencies. One character that was rather sensible in first part becomes braindead, too trusty of some without reasons and with surprising mood swings. Protagonist duo develops major altruistic tendencies. Ancient history doesn't feel right (we're told elves were the first race and then "they've possibly been here before dwarves"? they live thousands of years but have dedicated tribes of hunters, warriors, architects? don't they get bored?). Then there are tiny things that just nag at me - i.e. I find it hard to believe that Avempartha, made by supposedly superior race, has such huge security flaws. (view spoiler)[Any outsider could bring an unlimited number of unverified persons with him!! And all doors were the same, they gained access to the whole tower at once! (hide spoiler)]
Another thing that bugs me about this world is that the gods basically aided humans in destroying / enslaving / marginalizing their own chosen races. Uh... what? Were they okay with it? Did they just vaporize afterwards? They surely don't seem to be very active now, even though that happened not too long ago in the general timeline.
I hope at least some of these issues were intentional and will get resolved in the next volumes. I kind of want to know where it all leads to, even though it took me ages to finish this book due to piled up annoyances. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
2 stars only because the first half was bearable and the first book had potential - for being average but pleasant simple fantasy. Second volume waste2 stars only because the first half was bearable and the first book had potential - for being average but pleasant simple fantasy. Second volume wasted it all. Yelena transformed into a Mary Sue who's the best in everything, doesn't need schooling at all and would gladly betray family/home country/friends for military-based communistic country where she was raped/humiliated for 95% of her life/almost killed. Other characters are so flat that nothing can be said about them. Throw in Potter-esque school villains a'la Draco Malfoy. (Main character is 20 years old.)
The biggest issue I had with this book is just how everyone in Sitia is totally okay with horrifyingly powerful mage running amok, breaking into dozens of people's thoughts (!!), breaking into Master Magicians' thoughts (!!!), and breaking every freaking rule they have. What the f* was I reading.
I'd have dropped the series, but alas I have already bought the third volume....more
21th instalment of 'Drizzt the soap opera' does not disappoint. After so many years (and volumes) some improvement in author's workshop can be finally21th instalment of 'Drizzt the soap opera' does not disappoint. After so many years (and volumes) some improvement in author's workshop can be finally observed. The Orc King could be regarded as overdone failure; in The Pirate King the change was more successful.
The main plot arc takes place in Luskan and involves a great transition indeed. High Captains think up an intrigue to gain more power in the city and to kick out Arcane Brotherhood. Captain Deudermont, aided by young Waterdhavian lord, meddles in and we get a nice little war. The intrigue itself is much better than in previous books. The outcome changed from mere 'and they lived happily ever after' to something less expected and more realistic. Even the characters started to behave less idealistically and started to develop some common sense (or not; but at least such persons aren't depicted as normal anymore).
Out of all Companions of the Hall, the main characters are Drizzt and... Regis (cheers!). We meet Bruenor and Catti-brie only briefly, which really is a huge development for the series (c'mon, how much time can a king and a nearly-forty-years-old woman spend on the road?). Wulfgar arc, in my opinion, could be skipped entirely. It sounded like a total fanservice anyway, and a reminder that that character still exists.
Some good guys start to die, which is also a vast improvement.
Unfortunately, there are not only good points. While the summarized plot looks pretty good, the book is in fact... dull. Terribly dull. In spite of all these exciting events, the pace is rather steady and slow. There's nothing really, truly interesting, which would make you turn the pages faster and faster. I have no idea how Salvatore managed to achieve this, but it's true: for some reason, the book runs like molasses. I don't mind it that much, but there surely are people who are going to complain. Anyway, I have high hopes for next novel, The Ghost King. Maybe in the final volume of Transitions Salvatore will manage to combine his previously fast-paced style with new, more complex plot. ...more