Mark's Reviews > Wizardborn

Wizardborn by David Farland
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Jun 05, 08

bookshelves: fantasy
Read in May, 2008

Good books find a muse and follow it. The muse may take many forms, a theme, a style, a character, or other. Whatever the form, if the book is true to its muse you can always respect the book, even if you don't necessarily like it.

Sigh.

As you've probably guessed, this third entry in the seven-part Runelord trilogy has lost its muse and wandered back into the well-worn ruts of high fantasy. The heart of the first book was moral choices about sacrificing people for power, made very concrete by the magic system where a lord can take away a person's best attribute (strength, stamina, sight, etc) and add it to themselves. None of that in this book. In fact it is almost entirely "ride to point A, fight, ride furiously to point B, fight, repeat until end".

Also the book brings a characters back from the dead. Again. Just because Tolkien did it doesn't mean you should.

Also the book (and the whole series I think) weirdly compresses action. The action of this particular book spans less than two days. But because the author wants to have so much happen he fights multiple battles per day, leading to the afore mentioned furious riding from one battle to the next.

Also because of the time compression the author has many characters riding furiously around at night time. Imagine my increasing disbelief as it is revealed there are a couple of scouts riding around...in the dark...on an overcast night...in a snow storm...watching individual enemies...1/4 mile away.

Also the author adds concrete measurements when he really should have blurred them a bit - so someone like me is going to run calculations in his head and say "Wait a minute, this horse is running at 200 miles per hour? Oh, yeah, it is a magic horsie that is twice as fast as others -- so the author thinks normal horsies run at 100mph."

Finally, I have to mention there is an important subplot that revolves around one man's testicles. I Kid You Not.

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