Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Well written, slow paced.
on September 5, 2010
I think I would have liked this book better, if I had not read the back cover first. The events described, which I thought started the book, instead took 100+ pages to get to. This made the first 100 pages seem painfully slow. Not a flaw of the book, but an expectations mismatch.
The slow pacing of the book continued throughout, though. And it is slower than I think I would have liked anyway. It doesn't make it bad, this is just my preference. If you like that in a book, you may enjoy this one.
This really reads much more like a historical novel, than a fantasy novel, fantasy aspects are pretty minimal. If you are looking for High Fantasy, this isn't it.
The book is generally well written, populated with interesting characters. And the characters on different sides are all characters, not "good", and "evil". Everyone is going for their interests, or their idea of "right", it's not "good guys" vs. cardboard characters. Durham does this really well.
There's a very large cast, and a fair amount of background. It gives the book a nice feeling of depth, and of being a view into a existing world. The depth makes the world feel much more real than many books, which sometimes feel as if their world ends one step past the events in the book.
The one thing I really didn't like about the book was the combination of multiple points of view with cliff-hangers at the end of nearly every section. It made me feel like the author has been watching too much television, and didn't realize how poorly the cliff-hangers fit the structure of the novel. Every viewpoint change became an annoyance that threw me out of the narrative, instead of being an interesting shift to new events. This is the reason I won't bother with the other books in this series.
If you like slow pacing (I suspect a ten volume set coming), and aren't bothered by cliffhangers, the author does a lot of the rest really well, and you might really enjoy the book.