Top positive review
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Heralds the beginning of another awesome fantasy epic
on 5 September 2002
I picked this book up after seeing the massive advertising campaign that Newcomb's American publisher, Del Rey was throwing around for such a new author. I had hopes that it would even be half as good as the publisher claimed. I was well rewarded. Del Rey makes the claim up front of similarities between Robert Newcomb and Terry Goodkind, and for once those kind of claims bear out.
Newcomb has created his own unique world, with characters that I found to be highly believable, characters that are "flawed" as the now popular saying goes, but are still heroic. Through all of this Newcomb creates a feel, an atmosphere to his work which is very "Goodkindian", while still being unique unto himself.
Some of the negative reviews around the Net are preposterous, of course the book has a few rough edges, after all it is the first novel that Robert Newcomb has ever written, but his writing improves with every chapter, which is also very similar to Goodkind. As far as some of the other comments go about being sexist and what not, all Robert Newcomb has done is reverse the tables, instead of the "Dark Lord" we have the "Dark Sorceresses", instead of evil men pillaging and raping, we have evil women doing it.
According to some of the reviewers here it seems ok when men are evil and participate in despicable acts, but when women do it, and the author is a man, then the author and his world are sexist. To me, this adds uniqueness to Newcomb's world, and there are many times where he stresses that women are not evil, and that not even all Sorceresses are evil, just some of the most powerful ones in the world at this time.
As far as the violence within the book, there is certainly no more than you would find in a Jordan, Goodkind, or Martin book, and indeed if you do not like their works, or are too faint of heart for it, then you should not read Newcomb, after all, on the inside front cover, Del Rey compares him to Goodkind, and I find that Goodkind is far more descriptive of not only violence, but depravity as well.
Truthfully after only one book, I appreciate Newcomb more than I do Goodkind. I get the same feel out of Newcomb, yet he writes with more control than does Goodkind. It is obvious from the beginning that Newcomb has a plan for his series, and is well aware of where it is going, whereas Goodkind, by his own admission writes as he goes along with little pre-planning. Over time I think that Newcomb and The Chronicles of Blood and Stone as his series is called, will rise to grander heights than that of Goodkind's Sword of Truth. I finished The Fifth Sorceress in two days, and as soon as I finished the final sentence, I was impatient for the next book in the series. I can only hope that it will come quickly enough.