The Tower of Fear
The City of Qushmarrah is uneasy under the rule of the Herodians short, balding men whose armies would never have conquered the city had not the great and evil wizard Narkar been killed and sealed in his citadel; had not the savage nomad Datars turned coat and sided with the invaders; had not some traitor opened the fortress to them.
Not many would welcome the return of the...more
This is a buddy read with my fellow die-hard Glen Cook fans: Choko, Eilonwy, and Sarah.
A city-state of Qushmarrah used to be under a ruthless rule of an evil wizard Narkar until the day it was conquered by Herodians - a rival nation. Herodians would not have a chance against Narkar, but at exactly the moment of their attack an assassin struck a death blow against the mighty wizard. His wife managed to froze the two in time right at that moment.
And so Herodians ...more
New rating: 4.686978978 stars. And a half. Because duh and stuff.
And the moral of this reread is: Why I ever bother to read non-CookBooks is any shrimp’s guess.
See? Even the Commander in Chief of my Murderous Crustacean Armies of Doom, Fleet Admiral Bartholomew DaShrimp III, seems to think wasting time on
· We are the Reunited and Slightly Indestructible Black Company Mercenaries Oh and By ...more
A buddy read with the Glen Cook aficionados at BB&B!!! Just so we can remember how a master weaves a story!
I do not know how GC does it! He is so different from the majority of Fantasy writers out there, his writing so deceptively simple, and his storytelling above and beyond anything I can qualify!!! He blows me away every time and the only complaint I have with this book - it was not enough!!! I needed more! It took a while to get into the world, which as in all of his ...more
The story takes place in Qushmarrah, a seaside desert city where three factions struggle for control -- the natives, the Herodians, and the Dartars. The book has a somewhat Biblical feel, as the Qushmarrahans seem Semitic, the invading Herodians seem Roman, and the ...more
This 384 pages standalone book follows the interwoven stories of 46 (more or less) characters and it takes time to get into.
None of the characters are simple, they plot and backstab, there are secret agendas and hidden motives everywhere, and trying to guess what everyone really is up to is part of the fun of reading a Glen Cook book. I rarely - if ever - guess right when it comes to his stories ...more
It’s Glen Cook, so you know there will be backstabbing and double-and triple-crosses. The beauty of his writing is how they occur and how they are revealed.
The overall arc of the story ...more
The gray characters, the interweaving plots, the blindsiding developments...all are truly amazing. Using an ...more
My first experience with dark fantasy author Glen Cook could not have been more enjoyable. I always look for a good story, solid technical writing that exudes confidence, a strong vocabulary with a unique style, believable and original characters, rich atmosphere, and an overall consistency from beginning to end. It is rare for a writer to have strengths in most of these categories. Glen Cook has them all.
This book is crafted masterfully like the construction of a champion chess ...more
The plot ...more
The book is a complicated interweaving of plots and plans. The occupier, the Resistance, the supporters of the old regime, the mercenary tools of the invader, and the common people of the city are all represented. As is usual for Cook, it is impossible to pick a side and label them The Good Guys, though there are are a few people who are definitely not.
The tower of darkness is a book original and unusual, because, unlike many other novels of sword and sorcery, the focus is not placed on enterprises of some hero wiry, but the socio-political context inherent in the occupation of a given territory (approaching the saga Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson).
The action and magic in this novel are secondary. Glen Cook propels us into an imaginary world that has significant similarities with the Middle ...more
Quite formulaic and traditional, it's a standard rendition of the average man caught up in epic events. The clash of cultures works well, and the simmering stew-pot of lethal politics works well, marred only by some improbable romance and questionably-founded character motivations.
I have to admit my interest slackened towards the end as the political and power stalemate finally ...more
* Different fantasy setting (a desert as opposed to a more lush environment);
* Epilogue 2 covers the outcomes for the major characters;
* Good use of three separate warring factions in an occupied city.
* Twice as many characters as necessary;
* No map;
* Gratuitous profanity;
* Incorrect usage of "till" instead of 'til (just use "until" and avoid the problem) and inclusion of the phrase "muttered under his breath." Just mutter something. Can you mutter over your breath?
* The plot ...more
This book doesn't sound great from the description and the opening chapter reads like a cliché but everything gets better after that.
There is a big plot with gods and wars and generals but most of the time we focus on the lives of the ordinary people caught in the middle.
The characters are well rounded and believable, a mixture of good and bad but all with realistic motives and emotions.
The plot has lots of twists and turns and keeps you guessing right ...more
A study in tragedy from a certain point of view. The constantly wrong headed decisions of a woman passionately in love with her dead husband, a man widely loathed by almost every other character in the book, lead to her final loss of everything he owned and stood for.
Alternatively, the happy triumph of liberty and freedom of the city from the forces of oppression, both of the tyrant and his conquerors.
Alternatively, the hard headed Realpolitik of ...more
This is the ...more
I actually found when I stopped worrying too much about the characters and just concentrated on keeping track of the plot, I did a lot better.
I think I need to let this one settle a little, and then ...more