Sergei Moska's Reviews > The Redemption of Althalus

The Redemption of Althalus by David Eddings
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Aug 19, 2011

it was ok

Pretty crappy.

This is the 3rd fantasy book I've read in my life, and I did so at the recommendation of a friend who said that he loved it in high school. I don't know enough about the genre to be able to determine the target audience for this book, so I'm reviewing it from the perspective of a 30 year old guy who asked for a suggestion for some light reading.

There are a lot of problems with the book, but I'll list three.

First, the dialogue is awful. At one point the word "fairly" was used at least once every two pages. Italicized words are also very, very common here. These issues are tied into a more general complaint: everyone speaks in a "funny sarcastic understated way". Characters constantly use understatement for a sort of "winking" effect - for example, they'll say something like "'I'm sure he'll be fairly upset about it, but I'm sure his master won't punish him too badly', Blah said with a wicked grin." It's a perfectly valid device, but when you're whacked over the head with it for 800 pages, you sometimes just put the book down in disgust

Second, the gender relations between the protagonists is really, really annoying. I understand that this is fantasy and things are stylized. I'm not asking for a 3rd wave feminist critique. But the frequent references to sex and how the characters look at each other in a certain way peculiar to how boys and girls look at each other (the authors' [my book has two authors listed, not just one] phrasing, not mine) just make the characters less likeable. At least to me.

Third, there are very few points of tension throughout the book. In 800 pages, I counted three "Oh snap! The bad guys might have something here!" moments, and they were all resolved within 20 pages each. So most of the time it's able to heroes planning to kick ass, and then proceeding to do so. This kills any type of dramatic tension.

There are other problems, but I'll stop there. The story was still good enough to get me through until the end, but I might have read it in half the time if some of the problems were ironed out.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by John (new)

John This is absolutely not the Eddings book to start with. Their more recent stuff has become pretty formulaic, a relies on a lot of verbal tics (including hedging or understatement words like "fairly"), and is just a lot flatter. What you want to read are the series "The Belgariad" and "The Mallorean," both of which I enjoy a lot. They have a lot of the same elements, but done much better.

Sergei Moska Alright, I'll check it out! thanks!

message 3: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph I'm so sorry that this is the first Eddings book you read. John French is right - the Belgariad is much better. I'm also a huge fan of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series, too. If you're interested try Arrows of the Queen.

Scott Marley The Tamuli is good and I haven't even read the three leading up to it, not that it's necessary.

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