Brandon Zarzyczny's Reviews > Avempartha

Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan
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Aug 26, 12

Read in January, 2011

I think I might have liked the debut book of the series a little better, but this book is great in its own right. This book has less of the political intrigue and mystery of the first, but does have a bit more adventuring flare. I love how each book could be a standalone novel, while at the same time advancing the story arc of the series. My main complaint about this book would be that there isn't a very strong villain. The church doesn't provide too much of a threat, and the dragon (I forget the actual name of the creature) is relatively stupid/animalistic even though it starts talking near the end. Maybe it's just me, but I generally prefer more powerful/intelligent/conniving villains. The dragon is pretty cool in this story, but I didn't love how it was immune to any attacks except for a certain sword (its kriptonite) which would dispel it after any penetration. The author thoroughly explained why it was like this, but it still slightly annoyed me. It was also never explained why/how it escaped its prison in Avempartha after almost a millennium of being trapped (although I guess the characters would have no way of knowing). Also, I hate it when in a book/movie the characters discover some important secret, but it isn't revealed to the reader/viewer at the time. The author decided to do this at the end of the book in regards to who the Heir of the Emperor is, along with his guard (though he does provide a very strong hint for who the latter is).

Despite the few flaws listed above, in general I loved the book and can't wait to read the next one (I just downloaded it to my kindle). This isn't heavy epic fantasy which I usually tend to read, but Sullivan's books prove to be a very welcome vacation. When I think of author comparisons, this series is very similar to Raymond E. Feist's books. The books themselves are shorter, the writing is concise, and the world building (while still very strong) is less than other epic fantasy stories. The action isn't gory or too descriptive (unlike Joe Abercrombie/Terry Goodkind/RA Salvatore whom are 3 of my other favorites) while still getting the point across and providing a strong sense of action. The vocabulary isn't vulgar and there isn't any sex. The story is very strong with great interesting characters and political intrigue with a spattering of religious overtones (currently less than Feist, but I don't know what will happen in later books). There is also even an incredibly old sorcerer that drives along the story (although the hand-less version of this story's wizard isn't as powerful now). The one thing that Sullivan does better is that each of his books has a beginning middle and end, while Feist tends to tell stories in trilogies.

I've definitely found a new favorite author to follow, and I know what books I'll be reading for the next couple weeks. :)

My Rating: 8.75/10
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