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This review is from: A Quest of Heroes (Book #1 in the Sorcerer's Ring) (Kindle Edition)
I have read this book and half of the sequel and stopped,
Firstly, this is not a terrible book. I gave it one star because you probably want to know whether it is awesome or rubbish because nobody cares about the inbetween. It's actually more 2 stars in fairness.
The plot is standard, poor kid learns he has an amazing destiny, goes to royal court, discovers powers he can't control or understand yet, and of course there is the love interest who is a royal, and therefore out of his league. Now, I wonder if his destiny is to find out that he is not indeed a commoner and that he is in fact some ancient royal bloodline destined to save the world etc etc? This is where the problem lies really.
It is all very predictable and done before, but it has been done better.
It is shallow, you will not despair when a favourite character dies because there are no real favourite characters, I just don't care about anybody in the book including the lovely maiden fair Gwynn or Gwyn or Gwinn whatever (in retrospect Gwynn could actually be an excellent character being that she is strong and not cliche'd passive feminine).
There is very little of the epic scope and imagination in describing the world found in the works of Tolkein's Middle Earth or even Wies and Hickman's Krynn. You could argue that this is better because it allows the reader to create their own mindscape, to imagine their own vision of the world in the book but I really don't think this is the case. I think that the author just had 'generic medieval' in mind.
Another key issue with this book is that it seems to be very wide of target. I have noticed that in recent years there has been a tendency for authors to plant their flag in one of two distinct camps when it comes to fantasy. Hardcore adult or 'younger reader'. By way of example 'The Steel Remains' Richard Morgan - Adult. 'Harry Potter' JK Rowling - Younger Reader. Why do I draw the distinction? Simply because in this book the author very early on decides to introduce a closeted homosexual character who makes references to adult themes: "meet me in the stables later..." comes to mind. Now this is fine but it does mean that it is an adult themed book, yet the general tempo and the quality of the writing seems to be aimed at a younger, more 'Harry Potter' reader with its generic medieval, cliche'd theme fast pace and simplistic dialogue.
In the interest of fairness, the book is not boring, it is fast paced and gets to the point, the action is quite well described and there are not many moments of 'dull'. I raced through this book in one afternoon (maybe it was very small(Kindle on small text)) and was quite (ish) intruiged to go onto the next book which I duly downloaded immediately, so there must be something to it.
I would guess that this an earlier writing by a potentially good author who has just played it very safe and gone with a tried and tested fantasy formula and produced a mediocre to poor novel that will appeal to people below 16 years old. I will look forward to future novels as Miss Rice develops more of a personal style, invents her own more unique fantasy setting and decides exactly which camp in which to pitch her tent (ooh...err, no innuendo intended).
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 May 2013, 02:24:37 BST
K. Busuttil says:
Couldn't have described it better... Was initially intrigued but then put off by the flat characters, simplistic dialogues, predictable plot and general averageness of the book.
Posted on 26 Sep 2016, 14:58:38 BST
Sir Furboy says:
Very fair summary. For the record, I always treat 2 star reviews more seriously than 1 star reviews so your mileage may vary in actually giving it the number of stars it deserves.
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