seak's Reviews > The Eyes of God

The Eyes of God by John Marco
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's review
Jun 18, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2013
Read from February 11 to March 05, 2013

John Marco took a break from writing for a little while, but is back in the game in April with the next installment in The Bronze Knight series, The Forever Knight. Sadly, part of the reason for that break was because his editor sat on TFK without even reading it for 2 years.

This kind of stuff gets my blood boiling and if you want more thoughts, I wrote a little bit more here.

Marco is a unique fantasy writer in my opinion. He writes adult fantasy, but not gritty or over-sexualized fantasy as is the current trend. He writes quests, but not travelogues. He writes about library apprentices, but not about their destiny for power and glory. He writes a unique tale that's filled with action and thought, that skips over the fluff and gets right to the point. And sometimes I just need to get my head out of the gutter, it's not really all that pleasant a place.

For some reason, many fantasy writers have begun telling a story only to feel the need to go back and fill the reader in on backstory. Suddenly, instead of moving forward, the plot stagnates and a 700 page behemoth is mostly filler.

Not so in The Eyes of God. There is so much that goes on, I was amazed. They travel to and from distant places without any mention of what kinds of dried meat they had for breakfast. Then, they travel back again. There's betrayal, tragedy, hope, madness, it has it all.

But quite possibly my favorite part about Marco's writing is how real his characters are. They are flawed in a very human way that makes them compelling, and at times makes you both love and hate them. It brings the storytelling to a whole new level to understand the motives of the villain and even pity them, to root for the hero and yet despise his or her actions and thoughts.

The Eyes of God is largely about The Bronze Knight, Lukien. He's a character who has it all, looks, swagger, military prowess. He even wins all the tourneys with hardly a second thought. He's also a very flawed character that you root for nonetheless. Because he's good at fighting, he loves war. While he can get almost any woman he wants, he longs for noble women he can't attain because of his low beginnings.

The thing that gets me is that Lukien is a real person. Who doesn't want to belong? And if the only thing you're good at is war, why wouldn't you want wars to continue?

Lukien's best friend is also the king, Akeela. Akeela is a man of learning and peace. He will do anything it takes to not only erect his grand library, but to offer peace to his enemies, even if that means giving some things up. But at the same time, Akeela lacks Lukien's looks and grace with the ladies. Thus sets up the tale that is really just about the characters, one of the ultimate betrayal and constant forward momentum.

Like I said above, there are so many things that happen in this book. Everything is precisely planned and worked to the fullest and most efficient. Besides the characters, and to be honest, because of the characters, Marco sets up and executes some of the best twists I've seen.

Because the characters are so real, they can be "good" one moment and "evil" the next. I'm using those terms in the sense of the typical archetypes, hence the quotation marks. Not unlike ourselves. They can be driven to the point of no turning back and it really makes for some great surprises in where the story goes.

John Marco is an author that I wish more people would read. I hope you give this series a chance or another favorite, The Jackal of Nar. This epic fantasy will have you reading for the characters as it breaks your heart and puts it back together.

4.5 out of 5 Stars (Very Highly Recommended!)
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Reading Progress

02/11/2013 page 50
02/18/2013 page 300
38.0% "Wow, just got insanely good, emphasis on insane."
03/06/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Brandon (new)

Brandon That seems ridiculous. 2 years is a bit much - how could you not have time to edit a book in 2 years?!

seak Insane right, and hadn't even read it during that time. It's like, at least give the author a heads up as to whether it's good or not.

message 3: by Nathan (new)

Nathan True story. I kept avoiding this author because I had him confused with John Ringo.

seak The John and the 'o' - got it. :) Haven't read Ringo, but I'm a big fan of this John.

Artemas I LOVE John Marco! He is easily the best under-rated/unknown fantasy author out there.

message 6: by Bob (new) - added it

Bob Milne Just got my copy of The Forever Knight in the mail today!

Ross Evans Read this trilogy a number of years ago and liked it. I'll probably give The Forever Knight a go!

message 8: by Antonis (new) - added it

Antonis I've read some other reviewers here in GR complain that the writing is bad and spotty. I don't really know what they are referring to as they don't give examples but would you say the writing is average, sub-par or better than?

seak He's a solid writer. I've heard complaints about his characters but not the writing. Solid plot, great characters, a great tale all told.

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