2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2008
I really wanted to like this book, since it has a great premise; a fantasy version of the Age of Discovery (not excluding the Chinese discoveries, for once). But sadly the story is highly disjointed, so much so, that at times you wonder whether you have accidentally skipped a chapter or two. You haven't. The book is just a mess.
I'll give you an example: In the beginning of the story one of the main characters has a meeting with his fiancé and in the course of this meeting - about fifteen pages long - we meet the characters, the setting is described (thoroughly), their relationship is described, they have an argument, their relationship is jeopardised, a third person enters, is presented and reveals new information about the girl, which shows that she's never really loved him, but has just been trying to play him, and they break off their long-term relationship and he is glad to have finally ended it.
Fifteen pages! Including the descriptions. That's a lot of info in such a short span.
Stackpole CAN write and he shows it... now and then. Some of the descriptions are very good and the action sequences are a times near-brilliant. At other times, however, the descriptions are just annoying and overly complicate the story by adding useless bits of trivia. Line after line is filled with weird magic descriptions. Lines that could have been used to make the story more complete and less messy.
I can definitely tell you that I am not going to by the next books in this series. I've got other things to waste my money on.