on 31 January 2013
What's Good About It
It's a big book but it reads surprisingly quickly. The action is fast paced, the prose clean and economical - always a plus in epic fantasy which can be overly wordy and descriptive - and the characters are interesting, dynamic and relatable.
The whole religious war is done well, highlighting the total absurdity of it with accounts from both sides, both believing themselves to have the righteous cause. And the escalating violence is horrific - Anderson doesn't flinch from having his characters do some truly horrific things in the name of their beliefs.
By the end of the book I was starting to see where the disparate threads of the narrative were going to eventually come back together again, which was nice - building a sense of anticipation for the third novel. Second books in trilogies are difficult, because there's no real threat or tension as you know there's another book yet to come, but with so much going on The Map of All Things doesn't really fall prey to this, as some things were resolved and new things opened up - just enough to keep the tension up and the intrigue for the final installment on a high.
What's Not So Good
There were a lot of characters. Really. And many had similar names or titles. It took me a while to orient myself, despite the glossary in the back. But if you ride with it, and ignore the confusion, pushing on without stopping every five sentences to check who's who it does all make sense eventually. You get the hang of it.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Known perhaps more for his Dune work, Kevin's fantasy offering may not be something that you're too aware of. Here in the second tale in his Terra Incognita series the tale picks up where the original left off leaving the reader without chance to gather breath.
The prose is sharp, the descriptiveness ideal and characters that really leap off the page to make them a cast that you just can't wait to adventure with. Whilst there's a great round up of previous events at the beginning you really have to read the original to get the most out of the careful world building as its on a similar scale to Erikson's Malazan world. Hopefully some of the awards will recognise this as it really does deserve some recognition.
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2010
this is the second book in the trilogy and i have enjoyed both books and the third should be the best of all,
this is really a fantasy epic along with the best.
there is also a trilogy of cd,s to with the books,the first by roswell six is prog rock at it,s best.
however the second cd lacks erik norlander,gary werhcamp,lana lane and james labrie and the music is by henning pauley who
has produced some fine music.
but oh dear,whoever chose the vocalists for this cd has made a an error,it really needed jorn lande,mark boals and maybe orianthi.
lets hope the third cd has all the big hitters back and more to get this epic series completed.