Αταλάντη Ευριπίδου's Reviews > King of Chaos

King of Chaos by Dave Gross
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it was amazing

I think it's about time I start at least one of my reviews of the Radovan & the Count series with what is, perhaps, what most drew me to these books: the characters. I've often ranted about flawless characters and how I can't stand them. To all writers out there, please do a favour to yourselves and stop creating perfect heroes. No matter what you may believe, it's not cool, it's boring. I'd take an uptight wizard who can't cast spell from memory without becoming nauseous over a flawless character any day. I'd take a rude, reckless hellspawn who fights with both nature and nurture as he tries to overcome his heritage and be good over a flawless character any day. I can't help it, I just love how imperfect, flawed and damaged the boys are. It makes them realistic and interesting and the fact that, despite their shortcomings, they manage to persevere, is what turns them to true heroes.
That said and out of the way, lets talk some more about the book itself. Oparal's POV was an interesting addition and worked well with the narratives of Varian and Radovan. There's a peculiar relationship forming between her and Radovan which, I thought, was very sweet and I appreciated how she seemed to grow as a character after her ordeal with Kasiya and how much more considerate she was toward Radovan near the end. There was a lot of information concerning the previous novels in the beginning of "King of Chaos"; I imagine that was done to make the book more new-reader friendly. In the tradition of classic sword and sorcery stories, you could literally pick up this novel and read it and understand every bit of it even if you hadn't read any of the previous three. However, for me who had only now read all of the Radovan & the Count novels, this bit was a little tiring - fortunately, it was short. I do suppose, however, that had I read the novels when they came out, this information heavy part would serve to remind my a couple of things, so it doesn't affect my overall opinion of the book. As I was reading about the Anaphexis, I had an epiphany. Now, I'm fairly certain no one did this on purpose because the word doesn't actually exist but here's a thought: if it did exist in Greek, "anaphexis" would mean somethig along the lines of "dim illumination". I thought that was very poetic since they actually aim to dim the light of knowledge and, even if it wasn't done on purpose, it was a really cool coinsidence.
Moving on to secondary characters, I'd read a bit about god callers in the supplement and they didn't seem as interesting to me but Alase changed my mind. I hope we get to see more of her in the future. I'd read there were some characters created by other writers (Aprian, Jelani and Ederras), but I thought Mr. Gross did a good job writing them and not for a moment did they seem to me out of place or awkward. I like both Aprian and Jelani and I'll probably be reading their stories after I'm finished with all there is to read about the boys. I would have liked to have seen more interaction between Ederras and Oparal, though - maybe in a future novel, there's always hope. Dragomir stood out, partly because of the name which I've loved ever since creating a VtM character thus called. Urno and Gemma were also nice characters, though we didn't see much of them.
The revelation concerning Jeggare's handicap had been hinted at "Queen of Thorns" as well so it wasn't all that surprising. Still, it was well-executed and it'd be interesting to see how it will affect the Count in the following novels. I'm wondering if maybe this will somehow fit with the new, Arcanist class that's being beta-tested now. I enjoyed the connection to "Prince of Wolves" with the Harrowing deck and Luminita's story - that got me thinking if there was any connection to the story and Azra or if Luminita is a common name in Ustalav. I did notice that Radovan was funnier than usual in this novel and I liked how Dave Gross acknowledged that by telling us how the Worldwound affected everyone - in Radovan's case, he made more jokes.
I initially thought that "King of Chaos" lacked a strong villain but when I shiftef my perception and cosnidered the possibility of the Lexicon being the actual villain of the story, I changed my mind. This was like the Necronomicon and the One Ring at once! Everyone wanted it for their own purposes but it was corruptive and turned people mad! So it was definitely a great villain and it was interesting to see how it consumed the Count.
Another great Radovan & the Count novel overall, which I enjoyed immensely. My only complain is that there's no release date for the fifth novel at the moment so I don't know when to expect the next book. Meanwhile, I'll read the short stories to satisfy my hunger for more of the boys' adventures.
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Reading Progress

November 29, 2013 – Started Reading
November 29, 2013 – Shelved
November 30, 2013 –
page 124
December 1, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Dave (new)

Dave Gross What a speed reader you are! Thanks for another lovely review.

There won't be a new novel with the boys in 2014, but between the short stories and novellas you've got almost a novel's worth of story to keep you occupied. At your rate, that'll take at least a day or two.

You might enjoy the Sembia series (Halls of Stormweather, Black Wolf, and Lord of Stormweather are my contributions). I realized sometime after the fact that there are some character parallels between them and my Radovan & Jeggare novels, especially between Black Wolf and Prince of Wolves.

And while they're in a different milieu altogether, you might enjoy The Devil's Pay and Dark Convergence, my contributions to the Iron Kingdoms line.

Whatever you read next, I hope you enjoy it even half as much as I've enjoyed your reviews. Thanks for reading.

Αταλάντη Ευριπίδου Thank you for these suggestions! I'll give the Sembia series a try because, even though I'm not much of an FR fan, I trust in your writing and I hope you might improve my opinion of the setting - I've always considered FR kind of boring and too high magic for my taste, I'm more of a Dragonlance fan. Are the Iron Kingdom novels part of a series or can they be read as stand-alone novels? Though I'm disappointed to hear there won't be another novel with the boys this year, I always prefer quality over quantity and since you're offering us great quality there's no reason to mess with that! Thank you for writing and I'll try to write reviews for the short stories and novellas as well - the world needs to know about the boys!

message 3: by Dave (new)

Dave Gross The Sembia series as a whole is a little lower-fantasy than your typical Realms novel. Paul Kemp's Shadow's Witness launched a phenomenal character in his Erevis Cale, who goes on to much more epic adventures.

The Iron Kingdoms all take place in the same world, but as far as I'm aware, all the novellas and novels so far are stand-alone. I know there are plans to continue some of them, but my bet is that sequels will also be stand-alone stories.

There's a sale on the novellas through the end of today at skullislandx.com. Otherwise, they're available both at that site and Amazon, iTunes, and other major etailers.

I'd be a cad not to mention the other Pathfinder Tales novels. Judging from your reviews, I think you'd like Winter Witch, Death's Heretic, Plague of Shadows, City of the Fallen Sky, and Pirate's Honor, not to mention Nightglass by the creator of Jelani and Ederras, and Blood of the City by the creator of Aprian, who appears in The Worldwound Gambit.

Αταλάντη Ευριπίδου I definitely want to learn more about the world of Golarion and you've given me a great place to start with your suggestions. I prefer getting to know a setting through stories rather than supplements because that's just how my brain works (I guess I'm sort of handicapped in that manner like the Count). I'll try out the Sembia series and Iron Kingdoms novels as well; I like the way you're describing those, they seem as something I might like indeed. On a sidenote, I doubt you read Greek but, I've posted a review for "Prince of Wolves" in my book blog. I'm basically just saying how awesome the novel is and generally fangirling but you now Radovan and the Count are international. I don't know if Google translate will do a good job, but you can have a look at it here if you like


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