Top critical review
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Overwritten, tedious writing style
on 17 April 2007
I was really looking forward to reading this book, as the blurb on the back sounded intriguing. However, I have to agree with the earlier reviewers who thought that the writing style was tedious - I would also add overwritten, convoluted and, in some places, just plain bad. Sometimes sentences go on for a whole paragraph, and you find yourself reading passages again to try and work out what's going on. The use of punctuation in this book is also bizarre - far too many semi-colons, colons and dashes dotted about here and there, which sometimes makes for difficult reading that jolts you out of the story. The author's descriptions are often far too long, and there are too many pages of descriptive text unbroken by any dialogue or anything else that adds interest or furthers the plot.
Another thing that really irritated me while reading the book was the large number of errors that really should have been picked up before the book was published (e.g. wrong character's name used at one point; a whole sentence repeated in another; typing/spelling errors).
One reviewer also mentioned that there were too many viewpoint characters. I would agree with this, particularly as not all characters are very well-developed and it's not immediately clear to me why so many viewpoints are needed.
On the plus side, the plot is interesting and showed enough promise to convince me to read the second book in this trilogy (needless to say, my criticisms of the second book are much the same as those for the first). It's just a pity that story and plot are slowed down far too much by excess description, over-wordy writing style, and far too many deviations from correct use of grammar and punctuation.
If you've already started reading the book, it's probably worth persevering with it, as there are some good bits scattered here and there; if you haven't already started it and are looking for a good fantasy book to get your teeth into, I'd look elsewhere.