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The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth)
The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth)
by Terry Goodkind
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $8.99
290 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing happens., January 28, 2003
This is my first Sword of Truth book so my issue here is not that Richard and Kahlan hardly appear in this book. I don't really know/care who they are. My issue is that nothing really happens. All that happens is that Jennsen runs away from soldiers who don't really exist. And that's your book. The premise is good (seeing Lord Rahl from a different perspective, an entire book dedicated to an imaginary enemy) because of its potential for psychological tension. But a book based on pyschological tension and not action requires strong roots in depiction of character headspace. Jennsen and Sebastien have no character chemistry. It's like this for 500 pages:
J: Oh, Sebastien, you're so brave! I'm so grateful you're here for me!
S: I love you and can't live without you!
Jennsen never doubts her mission despite all the clues given to the reader that she's not doing the right thing, she never doubts Sebastien, Sebastien never doubts his own mission. The first 150 pages were extremely well written because there is psychological tension. Some extraordinary chapters are there: Oba becoming progressively angrier and Lathea becoming progressively more vulnerable when he encounters her (the descriptions of changes in body language and environment, like the bottles rolling off the table and smashing against the floor are awesome) or Jennsen fighting against the voice in the People's Palace during the devotional (you know Richard can't be evil if he lives in a shopping mall). Is there "action"? No, but the psychological tension is riveting, and while I was reading these chapters, I was like, "Wow, Terry Goodkind is GOD!" But I just ended up being disappointed with the second half of the novel.

The Sword of Maiden's Tears (Twelve Treasures)
The Sword of Maiden's Tears (Twelve Treasures)
by Rosemary Edghill
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
64 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read..., October 2, 2000
You people know the summary. Elf in New York. Very humorous, brisk, emotional, and just moving. The plot tends to slump towards the middle and leans towards the totally random at times, but Ms. Edghill more than makes up for it with her intense characters and scenes.. oooh. Read it. Now. Or I'll smack you with a trout.

Dragonshadow (Winterlands, No. 2)
Dragonshadow (Winterlands, No. 2)
by Barbara Hambly
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
89 used & new from $0.01

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ooof., October 2, 2000
Uhh.. uh... okay. I loved "Dragonsbane", despite seemingly every other reviewer on yowling that it was boring boring boring. And I have nothing against characters suffering, or flaws, or tension.. but this is overdoing it.
After more than half a book full of endless sex, violence, and angst (it takes no time starting off on a down note, though it's still incredibly boring) it gets almost routine, but not routine enough so that you don't care. Just so that you're bored *and* sickened at the same time. I only slogged through the entire thing because I had hopped for some sort of closure, but it seems as if I'll have to go out and fetch yet another sequel. Boring hack and slash. It's a bad combination. Yeesh... either save them or kill them already...
Also, the endless parade of characters.. they're all given names, and some are given descriptions, but most of them are pointless. Like all the family members and the mages who have.. like.. one line, then get posessed by demons and killed.
With all fairness to Barbara Hambly, it was really well written and she probably took a lot of time and effort on this, but content is everything...
This is a book where things happen.. but nothing really happens. You'll just have to wait for the sequel.

The Sapphire Rose  (The Elenium)
The Sapphire Rose (The Elenium)
by David Eddings
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.87
242 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice rainy day reading!, September 22, 2000
Honestly, it's not the most profound book in the whole wide world, but it does entertain, and that's what it's for. A lot better than the previous two books... the plot isn't as predictable and the characters are *finally* developed, though Ehlana gets on my nerves a bit (to say it without spoiling the plot). Eosia is a bit dreary for my taste as a world, but the story is fun.
I doubt I'll read the Belgariad though.. one trilogy with blue jewels is enough. Maybe I'll pick up the Tamuli when I can find it.
Oh, and to the reviewer below.. I doubt that the Church of Elenia is the same as the Catholic Church, though it could be implied. It *is*, after all, fantasy. The Church of Elenes is probably something of a social commentary on the real Church here, but of course, the specifics aren't going to be exactly the same.

Lord Valentine's Castle (Majipoor Cycle)
Lord Valentine's Castle (Majipoor Cycle)
by Robert Silverberg
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
78 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice world, boring book., May 15, 2000
Robert Silverberg is great at creating his world, but I felt that the entire book lacked momentum. Except for the end, the plot is fairly predictable, and there are too many minor characters that aren't developed.
I had trouble becoming immersed in the world, but reading is one half the reader's part as well as the writer's, so other people might find this book either really thrilling or downright boring.
Overall, a lot of pretty places, but nothing to really string them together. If there had been more momentum to the plotline (as in, not everything happens as planned), this would be an epic rivalling Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings."

A Tale of Two Cities (Tor Classics)
A Tale of Two Cities (Tor Classics)
by Charles Dickens
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $4.99
164 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrection, May 5, 2000
I'm in 9th grade and I had to read this for school. Dickens, apparently, is one of those authors who sacrifice brevity for the sake of drawing you into the novel, letting you experience it. The first book is boring, and pretty much incomprehensible, but it does get much better as it goes along. This isn't for people with short attention spans, but overall, the writing is strong and powerful. None of the movie versions have had the same impact on me as the power of the novel's ending.

The King Must Die: A Novel
The King Must Die: A Novel
by Mary Renault
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.62
304 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The King Must Be Inundated Under A Slew Of Literary Devices, April 7, 2000
Age. 14, and I *didn't* read this for school. I found the Alexander books to be much better. Alexander is charismatic and magnetic, even 2000 years after his death. Theseus is just a MORON. Also, first person narrative isn't my cup of tea. Despite those two grudges I hold, Mary Renault still managed to keep my interest and enjoyment throughout the hold book.
That said, you will enjoy this book after the first hundred pages or so in which Theseus rants about his childhood. Read it for Crete. You won't be able to put it down once the ship sets out from Athens, and you won't be disappointed.

The Bull from the Sea
The Bull from the Sea
by Mary Renault
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
120 used & new from $0.01

4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is, like, totally hip! But like, where's Greece?, April 7, 2000
Age. 14. I'm not yet five years out of puberty. Sorry. Hopefully I have an IQ of over 120. I also wasn't force fed this book. Whoops. I started reading the Theseus Bilogy (whatever) after I finished "Funeral Games" and "The Nature of Alexander", also by Mary Renault.
("Duuhh... bborrrring review, man...") Sorry.
I understood all of the references; other reviewers who were confused didn't seem like they'd read "The King Must Die" beforehand, which is a must, even with all the recaps. Mary Renault also assumes that you have a grounded basis in Greek mythology too.
It's pretty obvious that Mary Renault can write, but it seems that at some sections she just chooses not to. The basic structure of the book goes like this.. blah blah blah blah imagery blah blah killing people blah blah sex blah blah killing more people blah blah jumping off a cliff. Don't get me wrong; it's quality blah-ing, but the book has no momentum whatsoever to carry to the next scene. Many of the scenes are excellent, though, like the disillusion of the bull leapers on return to Athens, the perfectly portrayed chemistry between Theseus and Hippolyta without Disneyfying the romance, the adaptations of the Theseus legend into realistic history (again, this is better if you're familiar with the legend beforehand), and a lot of other things that I can't remember. Now if only Mary Renault could connect them!
Ack, there goes my adolescent attention span!

Funeral Games (The Novels of Alexander the Great)
Funeral Games (The Novels of Alexander the Great)
by Mary Renault
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
30 used & new from $0.01

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BOOM! There goes the world!, February 28, 2000
I found this book in my school library first ("Persian Boy" and "Fire From Heaven" apparently not being there.) While Alexander is dead by chapter 1, and I've never read the books in which he is portrayed alive, I was amazed by Mary Renault's skill in preserving his spirit throughout the novel, so that in a sense Alexander really is a character, though he was already comatose from the start.
Also, the high stakes and level of the manipulation by the people reaching for the throne was so much more detailed and elaborate than can be matched in the fantasy genre I usually prefer. Fact is stranger than fiction.
It stood out to me that while virtually all the characters hated each other, they were all portrayed very well and I felt I understood their emotions, motivations, and their nuances. Thankfully, the author kept from the very tempting habit of villainizing one or another. The body count was high, but each character had a moving, highly-individiualized death without splurging into Fiction Plot Device Kill-offy Mode that many authors tend to march into. (You know, falling to your knees and screaming, "NOOOO! " or "YOU KILLED MY BROTHER! " and that sort of stuff.)
Overall, an excellent read, even for your non-obsessed casual reader.

Mairelon the Magician
Mairelon the Magician
by Patricia C. Wrede
Edition: Library Binding
8 used & new from $226.98

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What just happened?, January 17, 2000
Okay.. that was weird. Hurrah! Something not mideival! Great book, and I really loved the characters, especially Kim and Mairelon, but it was odd, especially the lodge scene. Even after everything was explained, it was still weird, and the surplus of characters didn't help at all. I'll guess it'll be better when I read it again. Why does everybody turn up everywhere at the same time? Patricia C. Wrede is almost flexing quantum mechanics! I'll give it to her though... she knows her accents. Searching for a dictionary through the entire first chapter and realizing none of the words were in it did not help at all...
Reminds me a bit of "The Raven Ring" also by Ms. Wrede.. just slightly.

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