Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides's Reviews > Theft of Swords

Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
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Dec 19, 11

bookshelves: fantasy-fiction, self-published, decided-not-to-read
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: people in SF/F Book Club ... I think

I actually did read the first part of this omnibus, and a decent chunk of the second one, but then I just ... ran out of steam. It feels ... slightly like the author is still trying to evolve a style of writing? Not bad but ... somehow unfinished. Naive, almost. I was actually more interested in the afterword, where the author talks about his adventures in selling this book in various ways. (Self-published, small press, traditionally.)

The main passage that caught my eye: "For years now I have heard fans of the traditional 'Tolkien-esque' fantasy novels lament the repetitive themes and exhausted archetypes of the genre. They are tired of the same old hero-vanquishing-evil and want something new, something more real, more believable. Which to me sounds like someone saying they love chocolate, they just wished it wasn't so chocolaty and that it tasted more like vanilla."

Personally, I'm in general bored of epic fantasy, so I don't read it much. But I'm willing to try one if people are talking it up, because it's all about good stories, right? I read somewhere that this was written partly in reaction to the gritty trend in fantasy but can't seem to find that quote.
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message 1: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Hey Snail,
Thanks for writing...I'm glad you gave the book a try and sorry that it didn't turn out to be to your tastes. I totally understand where you are coming from and respect that.

As to writing in reaction to trends...it is true that the Riyria Revelations has an undercurrent of optimism but I really wasn't doing that to buck a trend so much as writing for my own particular tastes.

It actually took a bit more than 20 years from first concept until the Orit release in November and during that time I wasn't reading fantasy so to be honest I didn't know that the genre had gone "dark and gritty". Once I finished it and started reading again is when I noticed that trend...so it really wasn't written in response to it but it is something that becomes apparent now and is more an observation than anything else.

When I wrote these books I had no intention to publish which really gave me a lot of freedom to write something "for me". A story that I wanted to read. I know it won't be for everyone but I certainly had fun along the way and I'm proud of what was accomplihsed.

I hope the next book you pick up will be better suited to your preferences...life's too short to spend on books that don't 'work for you'. So I hope you won't run across to many of them.

Michael.


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