Great idea and concept. Using the saying "history is written by the victors" as a starting point for fan-fic is a solid base. This is a fun read if yoGreat idea and concept. Using the saying "history is written by the victors" as a starting point for fan-fic is a solid base. This is a fun read if you keep in mind what you're reading. I like this book because its a testament to the times in which I live. A Russian (I don't speak Russian) used his spare time away from his day job to write a story in his native language. An American who speaks Russian used his lunch hours to translate this story into English. He then posted it on a blog as a .pdf. A denizen of the Internet found the .pdf and used open source programs to convert into an e-book format that the Kindle can read.
I click a link, download a file to my Kindle, and just like that I can read an amusing little story that 10 years ago I would never have had a chance to encounter, short of learning another language or becoming good friends with a native speaker.
I'd never thought about viewing the terms 'orc' and 'troll' as solely ethnic slurs -- orcs and trolls in this story are just foreigners. Of course, the stories (Lord of the Rings) told by the in-group cast the foreigners in monstrous lights. Certainly believable in our world.
The whole spy-novel/Bourne identity/cloak and dagger plot is amusing, but out of place. I feel like Eskov didn't go as far as he should have. Why make only some of the mythology of Lord of the Rings realistic? Why not do away with the magic and supernatural aspect entirely -- it could have been done. Instead Eskov grounds most of the story in gritty realism, with biological, chemical, and physical laws, and then leaves pieces of the story teetering over a precipice of magic and 'wizards done it'.
Of course, that's the premise of the whole plot: that the world is poorly balanced between 'magic' and 'reality.' The forces of magic want to collapse reality and fold it into the chaos of magic, and the forces of Reason want to banish 'magic' into the realm of myth and stories, to allow reason and order to proceed unhindered.
I'm not sure that the relationship between story plot and writing style is deliberate. I certainly think it could have been handled more adroitly.
There are other issues with the writing, but I don't know if they are the fault of the author or the translator. Every character speaks exactly the same as every other character, and modern slang infects everyone's speech. Aragorn calls Arwen 'babe' and refers to his soldiers as 'you guys'. It definitely makes the story harder to read.
Still, keep in mind what it is and where it came from, and take nothing for granted, and you might have a good time....more