Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
on 8 April 2012
Firstly, any comments about price and speed of delivery are completely irrelevant- they refer to Amazon, not the book.
Okay, on to the book itself. I have been a Brooks fan for many years as I find his style very light and easy to read. He has been criticised for this very thing by certain fans of the genre, but I prefer an easy read to heavy going.
The first thing that stands out is that the three main characters all have names beginning with 'P'. Why Brooks chose to do this I have no idea- it introduces unnecessary confusion, particularly in the early stages.
As I have pointed out, I am a long-time Brooks fan and I really wanted to like this book, but there were too many issues for me to be able to so do.
Other readers have pointed out that the action is fast-paced, which is true, but this is done to the detriment of plot and character development. I felt that Brooks had been lazy with the plot and it became far too predictable. At least five times while reading it I found myself skim- reading pages to reach the obvious outcome so that I could get to the next part. I have never done this before with a Brooks book.
My biggest issue with the book, however, is the number of obvious inconsistencies in the narrative.
One character makes a large (but rather predictable) sacrifice in order that her ability to sense danger could be strong and reliable. Fine, but at the first test of this ability (with a captured assassin) it completely fails to warn her of the danger. This inconsistency is glossed over without any explanation.
Another character has difficulty using the blue elfstones because she cannot clearly picture in her mind a mountain pass that she is familiar with, yet later she is easily able to picture an enemy who she has never seen and who has only been described to her. This same character has great difficulty making the elfstones do what they are meant for (seeking/finding). However, very shortly after this is able to make them glow and shine on the ground, or in a particular direction (not what they were meant to do) in order to control a dragon. This she can apparently do with one hand while talking and tying her belt to the dragon with the other. I know women are good at multi-tasking, but come on!
Finally, the big duel at the end of the book is a huge let-down. The main enemy who, all through the book it was pointed out, was supposed to be impervious to physical weapons is severely injured by arrows before being killed far too easily by the hero. One character is further injured (in an obvious and predictable way), while a third is struck by a direct attack from this powerful being and survives with minor burns.
All in all, Brooks appears to paint himself into corners with his plots but then simply ignores his own rules when required, without any explanation. Lazy.
I will certainly buy the next book in the hope that it is better. If it is not it may end my long association with the work of Terry Brooks