Kat Hooper's Reviews > King's Dragon

King's Dragon by Kate Elliott
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Mar 31, 2009

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Read in January, 2007

The Crown of Stars series is well-thought out and obviously well-planned. It's epic in scope and it's got a lot of texture. There are many complex characters who we follow in parallel, as in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Some of them are very likable, and there are some really excellent villains (e.g., Hugh). Ms. Elliott's creatures are imaginative and enjoyable, and I especially liked the way they interact with the humans. Ms. Elliott uses a lot of description and therefore her plot moves very slowly (again, similar to WOT).

The writing was inconsistent throughout the series. Sometimes it seems brilliant, but at other times I'd think "why did she tell me that?" or "this could be moving a little faster." It's often wordy. Her editor could have almost arbitrarily taken out a third of the sentences with no ill effect. Sometimes she over-explains what a character is feeling or his/her motivation when it would have been better to let the dialog or action speak for the character. Sometimes she tells me something too many times (e.g., "but his voice always sounds like that"). I wonder if the inconsistency is due to different editing processes, because it's not like that in all the books, and even some individual books are internally inconsistent. I thought the fourth book, especially, was not well edited.

The pace of these novels is so slow that I found my self bogged down in the middle of book 5 with not much desire to go on, so I decided to quit. I struggled with that decision because I really did want to find out what happened to the characters, but it was taking me too long to get there and the writing style wasn't good enough to make up for the crawling pace (unlike Wheel of Time).

Overall, these books entertained me for a while, especially the first couple of novels. The plot was interesting and the characterization was particularly notable, but it eventually got too slow. I quit in the middle of book 5.
Read more Kate Elliott book reviews at Fantasy Literature .
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