Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
One Of My Favorites
on March 30, 2013
If you are a hard core reader, you sometimes don't have time to break in something new, and turn to a 'proven' story that you know you will like, and will never grow stale if you let it sit for just a bit. That is how I feel about The Tower Of Fear. I have re-read it many times, and enjoy it each time as much as I did the first reading. It has all the elements a good pseudo-historical fantasy novel should have. It has political intrigue, great characters and back story, and fun plot. I was surprised at the one negative comment, but I beleive that he was used to reading from one perspective only, and was confused by having to conform to Cook's switching viewpoints to give a larger view of the story. I thought the various stories was what made the book great as opposed to merely good.
I do enjoy the plot settings, and I noticed that there are differences as to any real historical equivalant. The Herodians are obviously Roman, and I enjoy his characterising them as short and balding, as this is somewhat true of the average Roman- just look at some of the busts! Ceaser was always fretting about his hair line. I remeber a quote somewhere about being conquered by a 'nation of plumbers', and that fits Cook's Herodians well. Business minded, pragmatic, they are beaurocrats with swords. The city does remind me of Carthage and Jerusalem, particularly the underground resistance cells. I also thought of the Greek city-states, but with Nakor in charge, there is little to no Greek influence possible. Jerusalem seems the best take, as it was never an easy occupation. And, as for the Dartar, they seem more Persian, or other Nomadic desert horsemen. They added a dimension to the story that I also enjoyed, particulary some of thier customs and insights into civilization.
If you are wondering to take a chance on it, well, if you like Scorcery, skilled assassins, intrigue, political maneuvering, spies, child snatchers torn to bits by crowds, uneasy alliances and fluctuating crisis, along with a dose of action and plain adventure, this is a good bet. What I really like about Cook's writing is how he manages to make the extraordinary- to us- seem so ordinary to his characters. And rightly so, as this is their everyday life. This is also the strength of the Black Company sieries, I think- making us feel part of something beyond the norm in a familiar fashion.