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Whatever happened to trilogies?
on 13 January 2014
First off, I loved the first two books in this series. I still think the concept is original and the characters are fresh, but whatever happened to trilogies? You knew where you were with three books, it gave structure to stories and made authors critical of their own content. Now the fashion is to milk a concept as long as possible. Even the best authors end up producing 'filler' books - and I'm sad to say this is one such. That's not to say Peter V Brett isn't in good company; step forward Terry Goodkind, George R R Martin, and the late Robert Jordan. These are all authors who at their best are unputdownable.
This book could have been well edited to a quarter of the length and been a great bridge at the start of the next (final?) book. It could be argued that this is the book in the series where the characters are given more depth and complexity, but it's done at such a pedestrian pace as to be numbing.
The author recovers a portion of his zest in some of the combat and battle scenes, which can be gripping. Although sadly there are exceptions here too with one major battle able to be summarised as [SPOILER] Jardir wears cloak of unseeing, sneaks up behind mind demon, kills mind demon, battle over.
The other times that the action heats up is when the author decides (and he's by no means alone here Mr Martin) that adult fiction means 'adult' fiction. There are times when stories have to include sex, be that suggested or detailed, but chucking in stiff this, wet that, and throbbing the other is just plain unnecessary. Frankly there are a limited number of occasions where the word lubing would be acceptable and this is absolutely not one of them.
Jerky attempts at erotica aside, this is a book that fans of the series up to this point will buy, read, and hope that the next book is more akin to the first two. It's not bad, it's just a filler.