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My review for the whole series,
This review is from: Prince of Dogs (Crown of Stars, Book 2) (Paperback)
I think that there was a good story underlying this series, but I can't say that I enjoyed reading it. Call me a Philistine but I think books should be a pleasure to read - not just a challenge. For a seven book series to be a pleasure and not a challenge, the author needs to make it easy to read. And that's where old Katie falls down.
First, there was the arcane Shakesperian dialogue. At first this was a neat touch. By the end it was looking like a howling blunder. What it did was it made the book a struggle to read. Contrast this with (say) David Gemmell, Geroge Martin or (outside fantasy) Paul Auster. They're authors whose work glides down like honey. I can get through pages and pages of their work without getting tired. without finding my mind drifting onto other things.
Second, I don't have a brain the size of a planet. My paranoia is where the Marvin resemblance ends. With a series as big as this, I expect to have a cast list at the back of every volume (not just volume 6!) and I expect a recap at the start of volumes 2-7. Even if I'm reading the novels in succession, because of the way my mind's drifting, it's comforting just to have the author confirm to you that you took in the whole story and didn't miss something important.
Third, with multiple story lines, it's good to make it more clear to the reader who we're talking about. George Marin had the great idea of having the name of the viewpoint character in big letters at the start of each chapter and it would have been great if Kate could have copied this. That's a WIBNI - "wouldn't it be nice if". Not a big issue. What I found unforgivable was when the first couple of pages of a chapter didn't mention the names of the people involved. He did this, she did that, etc. I found myself having to look ahead to find who we were talking about before I could read any further.
As for individual books,
Volume 1 was quite good - 4 stars
Volume 2 was still OK - 3 stars
Volumes 3 and 4 really dragged - 2 stars
Volume 5 actually had things happening in it - 3 stars
Volume 6 was back to normal - 2 stars
Volume 7 had to have things happening really but was dull - 3 stars