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The Eyes Of God (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 21 Mar 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (21 Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575073640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575073647
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.6 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,429,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Like his earlier Tyrants and Kings trilogy, John Marco's The Eyes of God uses the equipment of heroic fantasy to write moral fictions in which gods, sorcerers and monsters dramatize ethical choices. The second-hand quality of much of his invention is largely redeemed by the seriousness of his storytelling; he is a writer in whose books actions have consequences, often terrible ones. A king trusts his betrothed to the most honourable knight in his kingdom and love destroys all three; a desire not to hurt becomes a choice to deceive and anger at deception becomes gratuitous sadism. Young King Akeela starts his reign as a peacemaker and ends it as a monstrous tyrant who wastes his treasury on foreign adventures; the frivolous young princess Cassandra sacrifices her feelings for her people and destroys all around her. The knight Lukien tries to atone for adultery by finding the talismans that will save Cassandra from the disease that is killing her, and becomes, through circumstances he should have foreseen, murderer and thief and exile. There is an intense sadness to much of this which more than balances the pastel prettiness of some of the writing; this is a fantasy novel which makes us care what happens to its people. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A new series, a new world from the acclaimed award-winning author of TYRANTS & KINGS

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 May 2003
Format: Paperback
Brilliant page turner that will keep you hooked. To be fair the book has a few dodgy names but ignore that and you have a fantastic book, a story with more twists and turns than I don't know what. Fantastic. And remember with this book not everything is what it seems. My advice would be BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT! You'll be hooked.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a Marco fan ever since I read his classic Tyrants
and Kings series now he creates all-new epic saga that has all of the ingredientsthat made his previous one so memorable:
flawed heroes like Lukien, the bronze knight who is tore between the loyality and friendship he has toward his King Akeela who treats him like a brother and his love for Akeela's wife Cassandra. King Akeela-a once good ruler who's betrayal by his best friend and wife turns him into a mad despot who seeks only power and revenge! Cassandra-the queen who will turn two men into enemies and who's dying with cancer and can only be saved by a magical amulet called the eyes of God.Marco's gifts of world-building hasn't been lost as he creates a city of so-called freaks who are protected by powerful ancient spirits and
a mysterious woman called Minikin.Marco's villians are also classic like the poor Akeela who's tranformation from a kind man to a cruel king is quite chilling and the evil Will Trager, Lukien's hated rival.What makes the book so powerful is the theme
of choices that people make that can save or destroy them and sometimes even heroes can feet of clay and can do deeds that will haunt them for lifetime.Marco can describe a battle scene in
a cinematic quality and the brief and tragic love affair between Lukien and Casandra will break your heart.I've had read a few reviews stating that Marco is rewriting the Arthurian legend with Lukien as Lancelot, Akeela as Arthur and Casandra as Guinevere but the similarities are few and far between. Other characters I found memorable is crippled boy Gilwyn who helps save the city of Grimhold, the place of "monsters" and the gruff
but brave Baron Thorn.Consider this epic novel another feather in Marco's cap and if he reads the review I have only one thing to say: WRITE FASTER!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. Clarke on 17 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
Promising reviews, an interesting back-cover blurb and the fact that this is a stand-alone had made me anticipate reading this one with some relish - but as it turns out my optimism was rather misplaced.
Sad to say, this is fantasy fluff, pure and simple. An Arthurian-esque love triangle, some magic amulets, a reforming intellectual-king, and a legendary, hidden community of 'differently-abled' people. None of these elements are particularly original, but early on there are hints that they might be melded together in an entertaining way; and throughout there are interesting developments, such as Cassandra's imprisonment and Akeela's descent into madness. Unfortunately, most of these elements are also given less breathing-space than they need, and thus both plot and character are left under-explored.
While 800 pages ought to be plenty for even a fantasy novel, Marco tries to do too much and consequently short-changes a potentially-intriguing story. However, the (frequently clumsy) writing shows the hallmarks of a new novelist still finding his feet - suggesting that, a few books down the line, Marco may be someone worth trying again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 91 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A flat tale devoid of emotional involvement 15 Feb. 2004
By Victor Lange - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Eyes of God is a story of how a single decision made for the sake of love leads to a series of unjust tragedies. Authors on the outside and inside covers commend it for being vague about what is for good and what is for ill. But while some authors, George RR Martin being my favorite, can write a story that is wholeheartedly grey or even black and still have their readers twined around their fingers, the Eyes of God only manages with its neutrality to make the reader care less about the characters.
Every character but the villain and antihero is the same... they care deeply for human life but have a hard streak if you touch the wrong topic. They have a great weakness, but have learned to overcome it with time. This lack of distinction made it difficult to associate with any characters after the first three that were introduced.
It would seem the author realized that with the characters' lack of individual charisma, he needed something else in order to make the reader take sides. The "good guys" not only have higher moral standards, but are also protecting a keep full of defenseless cripples. The "bad guys" are not only aggressors without moral cause, they are also murderers and psychopaths.
My complaints could go on, but I have a word limit to deal with here. I should put in a few words about why I gave this a 2 instead of a 1. The anti-hero King Akeela follows an interesting path of descent to redemption throughout the book. He is without a doubt the most dynamic character contained within. Also, the plot, while not being full of suprises, follows a fairly unfamiliar path if the Arthurian love triangle is cast aside. If you like stories of medieval wars and aren't huge on characters, this story might be for you, but don't say I reccomended it.
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A departure for Marco 18 Aug. 2002
By Nathan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Having read John Marco's previous novels, of the TYRANTS AND KINGS trilogy, I went into THE EYES OF GOD with high expectations. T&K, despite characters that were usually pretty weak, was an amazing military fantasy, featuring some the best-written and most inventive battle sequences I've ever read, and quite a bit of interesting strategizing. THE EYES OF GOD, however, is a very definite departure from what Marco has written before. This novel is much more character-driven than his other novels; it is not about a war, but about the interactions of its characters. This was an ambitious move on Marco's part, considering how weak many of his characters have been in his previous novels, and it provides mixed results.
This book is broken into three parts, each better than the last. Truth to tell, I really had to force my way through much of Part One; there was very little originality there. Part One was mostly just a retelling of the whole Arthur/Lancelot/Guenevere story, with a few twists, but it really served to make me a bit wary as to what the rest of the novel would hold. Part Two picks up nearly twenty years later, and basically is there to get all the characters in position for Part Three, which is where the final confrontation between characters occurs. Not only did my level of interest in the plot grow with each successive part -- Marco's skill at writing believable characters grew, too. At the beginning of the novel, many of the characters' actions seemed kind of spontaneous and didn't really work with what we knew of the characters, but by the end the characters all seemed real and natural.
THE EYES OF GOD is a massive book, an epic fantasy that is truly worthy of the name. Like all of Marco's previous novels, this one stands alone even though it is part of a series. This is a book about love and betrayal, passion and madness, loyalty and honor, cowardice and paranoia and guilt. There are some battles, though frequently not on the scale of Marco's previous novels. There are nations at war, but they are not the point of this book. There are magical amulets, characters with "magic," monstrous beings, intrigue and revenge.
Overall, despite a shaky start, this novel is definitely worth reading, and Marco's definitely an author to keep your eyes on.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Tried for too much ended up with too little 25 May 2002
By "stupage_stu" - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This wasn't a very good book. The characters were too flat for the story. Parts of the story were too easily solved or dismissed. And the book tries to be too many stories in one. Is it a story of betrayal between brothers? Not when one brother disappears for a quarter of the book and the main character shifts from one of the brothers to someone else not involved and SPOILER one of the brothers goes mad, not from being betrayed but because he kills a man. Or is it a story of a story of a place of magic and "disabled monsters" against a mad king and his brutal general? If so then what's with the first half to two-thirds of the book. Etc. etc.
The theme was too heavy for the characters. Betrayal and jealousy enough to drive men mad require more than paper thin characters and more time and interaction between those characters than occurred. If the author had stuck with one major theme or more time developing and resolving each theme and character this could have been a good book. Or if he had taken a lighter touch and let it be a straight fantasy adventure it could have worked too. He didn't so I give this book a D.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Left a Bland Taste in my Mouth 14 Mar. 2007
By Petit Noir - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Maybe if I had read this book in my adolescence I would have liked it, but as an adult, I found it very lacking. First of all, this book was WAY too long. Another writer could have told the same story in a third of the pages. Secondly, the characters were shallow and slow-witted. They never thought about the consequences of their actions or about their next steps. I felt like the characters had the mentalities of seven-year old children. Because the characters didn't feel substantial, I never felt emotion toward them and therefore didn't care what they did. If you don't care about the characters, you don't care about the story. Lastly, I don't think the book was very creative. The characters who were soldiers went to "War College". Another character who was blind was called "White Eye".

I guess I am just past the point where a mediocre story will suffice. I do not plan on reading the sequel. For those of you who want a darker, deeper, and not so PG fantasy novel, I recommend skipping this book.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
What could have been an epic . . . 21 Feb. 2007
By begi88 - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Eyes of God is a book that could have been a great fantasy such as George R.R. martin's "A game of Thrones." The overall plot is interesting. However, John Marco turns a book that could have been about 200 pages into a long, dull, and extremely wordy 784 pages.

Instead of developing the characters, he describes their clothes; instead of describing their emotions and feelings, he describes the buildings.
Instead of SHOWING what the characters are going through, he simply TELLS and moves on to describes totally unnecessary details. This produces characters that the reader doesn't care about. I, for one, sometimes wished for the deaths of some characters just so the plot would get moving.

There are some interesting sides to it. For example, John Marco has the ability to surprise the reader by creating situations that would never cross the reader's mind. But this does not make up for the hundreds of pages of crap that you have to torture yourself through.
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