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The Dwarves Paperback – July 3, 2009
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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About the Author
Markus Heitz was born in 1971 in Germany. He studied history, German language and literature, and won the German Fantasy Award in 2003 for his debut novel Shadows Over Ulldart. His Dwarves series is a bestseller in Europe. Markus Heitz lives in Zweibrücken.
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Top Customer Reviews
Is it the greatest piece of fiction ever written? By no means will it be mistaken for that. However, it is an exceptionally enjoyable ride to read it. Maybe akin to the summer action flick blockbuster, that is never going to win an Oscar, but may give you the most enjoyment for your dollar all year. That is this book. Flaws aside, the characters are captivating, the ideas though common enough to fantasy have their own unique and interesting twists, and the book is just darned hard to put down once it gets going.
I couldn't recomend it highly enough, it sits in a treasured spot now in my collection.
Then the novel goes into the present story proper, and we are introduced to the hero, the scholarly blacksmith dwarf and human foundling Tungdil. He ends up on a mission to save not just his fellow dwarves, but also all the good men and elves of Girdlegard. Markus Heitz doesn't really try to break new ground with his fantasy creatures - elves are elves, dwarves are dwarves, orcs are orcs... same as in 'Lord of the Rings'. He does add new evil creatures like the alfar (twisted elves), and he also give the dwarves a complex and well-structured society & culture (including politics) that hasn't really been delved into that much. And since Tungdil has grown up only amongst humans & knows as little about dwarves as we do, we discover dwarven-society with him as he goes about his mission.
Tungdil is a really likeable character, and I've always had a soft touch for the outsider / nerd turned hero. And the band of characters who end up being on Tungdil's team are a likeable (if mismatched) bunch too - a pair of dwarven warrior-twins, an alcoholic dwarven mason, a drama troupe that includes human (and not quite human) actors & prop master, a rebel magician & her mysterious demon bodyguard - I found myself just drawn in on all the action as Tungdil traveled across Girdlegard before the final battle with Nod'onn (former good magician who is turned by the Perished Land into evil).
I have to say though that the rest of the novel doesn't quite measure up to the brilliance of the first chapter; the quality of the writing becomes a bit uneven after that. For some strange reason, Mr Heitz writes majority of the dwarven characters really well, but fails when he has to write humans. Any chapter that concentrated on the humans (kings, magicians) ended up with stilted dialogue and wooden, flat and poorly developed characterization. Another disappointment for me was how weak Mr Heitz' villains were - from the supposedly villain-to-end-all-villains Nod'onn to the smaller villains - such as Bislipur (a dwarf who becomes Tungdil's adversary).
All in all though, I had a rip roaring time going through Tungdil's journey with him, and if the journey seemed a bit too long and circuitous at times with a bit too many X saves the day coincidences (the book really needed a good editor to trim-off many unneeded scenes), well, gosh-darn-it, I liked Tungdil too much and found the story too entertaining at that point to give up. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series 'The War of the Dwarves' next!
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