Aug 07, 12
Read from January 29 to August 07, 2012
This novel was very uneven, but ultimately worth the read. Unlike other fantasy series which seem more like historical fiction with just a sprinkling of supernatural elements, Seven Princes is reminiscent of classic sword-and-sorcery yarns with an emphasis on the sorcery.
Ironically, this is both the book's greatest strength and weakness. For me, it was refreshing for the fantastical elements of a fantasy to take center stage. It's one of the main reasons I read the genre - pure escapism. While series like Game of Thrones excel at capturing human drama and intrigue, at times those novels seem too dry and academic.
Sometimes I want an epic fantasy that is the equivalent to a summer action movie.
This is what you get with this book. While the action and plotting move at a very fast clip, what does suffer is characterization. You get the standard genre tropes including: dastardly villains, mighty heroes, noble kings, a spunky princess, a mysterious sorcerer, etc. The characters are just a cut above being completely two-dimensional.
However, just when you think the plot is standard by-the-numbers fantasy, the author throws in some excellent twists you don't see coming. There are enough of those twists, and episodes of real human drama, that keep this novel from being considered completely pedestrian.
All in all, I recommend the book for light summer reading. If you need a break from fantasy novels heavy with byzantine plots shared among a sea of characters, Seven Princes will be a nice, if not substantial, diversion.