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on 26 May 2001
This is the first book I've read by David Drake, and I was so impressed that I'm now planning to go out and buy some more - starting with the rest of this series.
The characters in the book were all well developed, and they changed and grew throughout the course of the book. Death wasn't just limited to the 'bad guys' - something which sadly often isn't true of many books - which made the book much more powerful.
The imagery was strong, with many scenes described so well that I could almost close my eyes any picture them. At the same time, there wasn't so much detail that it bogged down the storyline. The story moved fast enough to keep a readers interest without sacrificing the storyline in favour of action. Some people might find the multiple viewpoints somewhat confusing and possibly even irritating, but I have always enjoyed this style of writing.
The sheer amount of magic in the story might put some people off, but personally I found it made the book even more enjoyable. It had well laid out and consistent format, which made it easier to suspend disbelief while reading. The use of real words from spells dating back to classical times was another nice touch.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy, although I'd also suggest that they start with the first book in the series - a piece of advice which I failed to follow, although as the book can also stand on its own it was easy enough to pick up the essentials of plot and characters from the previous book.
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on 1 November 1998
This book does ramble, but listening to it on cassette is still quite enjoyable. But after going through both books now, I just have to wonder how people in this world reproduce, when no one seems to have the SLIGHTEST interest in sex. If you love lusty sex scenes, think twice before starting these books. They have wonderful characters, who are just like friends when you're done. But, looks like they are all going to be "just friends" with each other too. This makes things just a bit unbelievable, but the books are still fun.
I have really enjoyed the magic and wizardry, as much or more than Terry Goodkind, which is high praise from me.
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on 7 October 1998
This book i had trouble keeping intrest in it had no plot and was very misleading.It was one of the worst books I have ever read! As you a consujmer you should think very hard about this book before you buy.
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on 16 December 1999
This is a fabulous book! It continuse where 'Lord of the Isles' left off. The plot is great and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. You'll love it though read the first one first.
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on 27 July 1998
This was a great book, I just finished it last night, 600+ pages in 3 nights of about 2.5 hours reading each night, I could not puit it down. The setting is about the most original Fantasy out there when compared with all the Continent spanning Epics out there. (Face it, all the major epics main characters end up trouncing around there home continent for most of the story) Here is a brand new series that has developed a richness in its setting of a few islands (So Far) that most writers can make with their entire world (Jordan and Goodkind are 2 other examples of great authors with remarkably rich settings, but hey, they have got 7 and 4 books out so far, not 1) this book has the potential to surpass these 2 great authors if Drake can keep up his creative flow. I like the entire idea of setting it among islands, this allows for short distances being great cultural gaps and it is remarkable. The only shortcoming is the fact that after Queen of Demons comes out, You wi! ll have to wait at least another year for the next book. And Drake is not afraid to kill off his characters. It is not often that you see one of the coolest characters in fantasy (and he is not a wizard either) get killed, a guy with an ancient king messing around with his head, and a guy who kills demons with his bare hands just a few minutes after he befriends another one! This series promises to be remarkable. Once more a series that goes ages beyond the "Lord Of The Rings"
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on 28 January 1999
Maybe I've just been spoiled, but I get caught up in Drake's almost Robert Jordanesque plots, and I just start to expect things to go they way they do in the Wheel of Time, and so as soon as Drake starts to describe one of the characters I'm dissapointed. The characters seem to have no emotions whatsoever, one would think Garric would be frightened or anxious about becoming king, but he displays nothing, and does he never DISAGREE with King Carus in his head? One of my favorite characters is killed abrubtly in the end, and there is almost no mention of sprites in this book. Cashel constantly proves that he is indeed stupid as Zahag says, and Liane's knife has more character than Liane does. We hear a billion times about how sharp it is, never once hears what color hair or eyes she has (I've forgotten from the first book), and she seems to have no REASON to want to follow Garric & Co. around, she's just.. there.
Don't get me wrong, I want to be able to like this book, and I do enjoy the read, but it's still not as good as I wish it was.
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on 17 March 1999
At first this story appears to have all the elements required for a good, satisfying read. As you progress you realize it's like a stew without the spice. Key elements that catalyze the whole are missing - notably a lack of emotional development in the male/female relationships, and a certain unidimensional feel to the main characters' thoughts as they decide on how to act in each successive situation (the third party viewpoint is too obvious?). The more I read, the more underwhelmed I became.
This is still worth reading for fans of the genre, and it has enough detail & depth to be considered "read if you have the opportunity", but certainly it is not a "must read". Borrow it from the library or a friend, or at least wait for the paperback.
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on 10 November 1998
David Drake, one of the best SF/fantasy Military writers that I've ever read (especially the General series), has now shown to me that he can equally write good hard core fantasy. There are of course the few glitches in it, like the fact that he constantly flip-flopping around, but it's still very good. Another good thing about this story is that, unlike Robert Jordan, this story is actually understandable. I highly recommend this book.
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on 22 December 1998
Quite a good read. Drake keeps the intest level high with more almost meetings between the struggling characters. Cashel gains a new companion. Garric begins to lead. (I'm not going to give away more than that) The story builds up to a final double confrantation that proves worth it. The hook for the next book is obvious, however I'm not an author so I can't complain.
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on 30 December 1998
How many new Sword & Sorcery plots can there be? This fairly tepid plot benefits from David Drake's expected excellent writing, but unless you are a dyed in the wool S&S enthusiast, this book becomes "a demon too far".
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