Joshua Palmatier's Reviews > Children of Amarid

Children of Amarid by David B. Coe
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's review
Apr 13, 09

This is the first book by David B. Coe that I've read (and it's his debut novel). I'm not sure why I never got around to buying this at first, since I distinctly remember seeing it on the shelf and being interested, but it took a long time before I actually purchased it. I should have started it sooner.

The main strengths of the writing are the characterization and the worldbuilding. Coe has created a group of characters and presented these world in such a way that you are drawn in and care about them and the world and want to find out what happens to them. I liked Jaryd and Baden and the rest, and the story and world was interesting enough to keep me reading.

But I also had a few issues with the writing. It's rather dense, meaning that there are lots of long paragraphs and descriptions and such. While I don't really mind dense work, what was usually covered in these dense parts were long interior monologues of the current viewpoint character--the reasoning behind what they were doing, or an argument they were having with themselves, or in some instances a long "recollection" of a story of their past or whatever that perhaps gave some motivation for their current line of thought or an upcoming decision. That's what I didn't like. I thought that most of this interior dialogue could have been cut or expressed in a much faster fashion, and I thought it was often repetitive.

Something else that bothered me a little (but not much) was that the magic system used the idea of a "familiar," typically a bird, but I didn't feel like the familiar was used to its greatest effect in the course of the story. They were there, they were used occasionally, but they could have been used MORE and the bond between mage and familiar could have been developed more to make the loss of a familiar stronger.

However, having said that, I do think the book was strong and I intend to read the rest of the series as well as future Coe books. Part of me is hoping that the long dense paragraphs is simply a product of this being a debut novel and Coe will learn to shorten them or find another way to get these ideas across, but even if it is instead part of Coe's style I'll still continue to read his works. I'd definitely recommend the books to everyone who enjoys a good fat fantasy. *grin*

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