This book has been accused- or maybe 'credited' would be a better word- with ripping off Tolkien's universe. Well, that is true. There are many momentThis book has been accused- or maybe 'credited' would be a better word- with ripping off Tolkien's universe. Well, that is true. There are many moments while reading that I could see characters from Fellowship trekking across the plains or the Gods from the Silmarillion creating this or that. (Shaping, it is called in this book.) Even the all-father god is pronounced nearly the same: Eru for Tolkien, Uru here. There are immortal Elves, mortal Men with their passion and ambition, Dwarves with their reclusiveness. And Dragons. Never forget about the Dragons. But rather than follow the heroes on their epic quest to defeat Evil, we read Banewreaker from the perspective of the "Evil" side and follow their quest to just be left alone and survive. The bad guys are determined to stop a Prophecy made by the main Good god that predicts their destruction. They are nerely reacting to the aggression of the Good Guys, who are determined to see Evil destroyed for... whatever reason. Even Good isn't sure why they are fighting: they were just told to. Told that Sauro- sorry, Satoris (the Banewreaker himself) broke the world so he could steal power for himself and horde everything and generally be a rotten bastard. When, in truth, Satoris was just trying to help out when his Elder Brother Haomane got jealous and angry at something completely unrelated and decided to take it out on Satoris. Haomane, not being one to make mistakes- much less admit them- blames the ensuing war and it's devastation (which he caused) on Satoris. Following old William Randolf Hearst, Haomane gives the survivors what they want: a story and a villain.
One review I've read called this the most grey book they had ever read. Very true. While the "Evil" characters are presented as protagonists, they are far from innocent. You just need to go back far enough. Tanaros, for instance, follows Satoris because Satoris accepted him when he was cast out. He was cast out for murdering his wife and king. He murdered his wife and king because they cuckolded him. They cuckolded him because Haomane's Prophecy.... And it goes on and on with all the characters.
The writing is very heavy. Though I could circumlocute most of the words, I kept a dictionary handy. It was like reading Stephen Donaldson, only Carey doesn't appear to have gotten paid by the word with a grant from The Oxford English Dictionary people. She does things like use the word "suppurating" and "quiescent" instead of "festering" and "still."...more
My dear sister-in-law once said of Romeo and Juliet that it would have been much shorter and happier if the people in it would simply talk to each othMy dear sister-in-law once said of Romeo and Juliet that it would have been much shorter and happier if the people in it would simply talk to each other. And that is very true of Godslayer. I would like to say that this book is a study of lack of communication and how prejudices can hurt, and that the author meant to say this or that about all kinds of social subjects and that it's all one big allegory for the Civil Rights Movement or something. But I don't think it is. It's just a story, and it's a good story. Occasionally you want to reach through the pages and slap the characters, but they're the characters in the book and not some real life equivalent.
We left our anti-heroes and anti-villains at the end of Banewreaker all tied up in knots over the imminent war that the other side started. No matter who you ask in this series it's always the other side's fault. And they are usually right. Through out Godslayer it becomes increasingly apparent that the "Good" guys started the war to keep up a peaceful, but entirely un-human, status quo in which nothing bad ever happened, but also nothing ever changed, there was no progress. And the "Bad" guys want the war... well, mainly because their Lord wants it. But He wants it because he has actually see the Real Plan, has seen the birth and death of the ages and the worlds and knows that it's all part of a pattern that's meant to happen. And He wants it to happen, even if it means his end. I would have inserted a spoiler alert just there, but the main "baddie", Lord Satoris, comes right out and say just that at the beginning of the book. I think he even says it in Banewreaker at some point. He even tells several people exactly how it's all supposed to go down, but either no one believes him or they don't understand what he's saying. It's as if he says: "The end is nigh, and this is how it will happen." And people hear: "Ham gives you brain worms, so wear pink on Wednesday." Then his underlings and even his enemies hear this and say; "My Lord, I don't understand." and Satoris just gets tired of them and sends them away without bothering to explain.
But who cares. If they got it at first this would be a boring book. Once again the parallels to Tolkien abound, but in even less order than Banewreaker. For those of you versed in Tolkien Lore, you will see the Grey Rider become White at the very beginning of Godslayer/end of Banewreaker, and the ascent of Sauron at the end of Godslayer. The Breaking of the Fellowship halfway through Banewreaker ends with the Chaining of Hurin towards the end of Godslayer. Ms Carey seems to have definitely read and borrowed elements from Tolkien, but put them in her own order to make her own story. (Big readers of Robert Jordan could see this as the events of Middle Earth on another turning of the Wheel of Time. [psst! I did])
So the verdict is in and it is good. Read these books. It won't take you very long and you'll feel better about yourself when you're done.
Unless you have to have a happy ending. Then don't....more
The book is great. The audio book is terrible. The reader sings all the songs-almost exactly the same- and they just...drone...on.... It gets better aThe book is great. The audio book is terrible. The reader sings all the songs-almost exactly the same- and they just...drone...on.... It gets better after the Ring goes south, because they're not doing a song every other page....more