Top critical review
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More generic than the cover suggests...
on 18 February 2005
There's nothing particularly wrong with Fallon's first book, it's just a pity that there's nothing particularly special about it either.
The characters are quite well defined, although some verge on being stereotypes. In particular, the evil mother is seen from an angle which makes her rather inhuman - her character seems defined by her opposition to the 'heroes' rather than through any redeeming features or entertaining traits of her own. One would have thought, given such examples as Livia from 'I Claudius', that it was possible to conjure a believable badgirl - it is obvious that Fallon doesn't really care about her subsidiary characters, and it shows.
On the plus side, the book is an unchallenging and stimulating read, with lots of swashbuckling action - as long as you're not expecting any realism with your fantasy.
The world itself is another mixture. The central premise appears to be gods and religion, which is refreshing but not entirely expertly handled. There is a theology, an economy and a map, but none really stand up to critical scrutiny - although many readers may not require this to enjoy the book.
All in all, Fallon's first novel is better than some authors in their prime. I thought it was a diverting read, but not an essential purchase. An author (and a series) to keep an eye on. - 6/10