2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
If you're a moron, don't bother starting on a path to confusion, feelings of inadequacy, and migraines. Find a fast food restaurant and laboriously fill out an application.
This is a book for people who enjoy intimately knowing a character, sub-plots, and a large number of minor but important characters that you need to keep track of. I rarely write a review (mostly because I'm incredibly lazy and don't think anyone ever reads past the first six reviews...but they "really liked the cover art!"), but this is an excellent trilogy that deserves to be pointed out to others and compel them to read it, because my reviews are nothing if not compelling. The world-building and character development is noteworthy and spans years, not just a month or two. There's not much you need to "accept as true" in it; the story is really one of the few whole-life stories I've read. It reminds me a lot of the Soldier Son trilogy by Robin Hobb. The author is tells excellent "Extended Lies", which (unfortunately) not that many fiction writers seem to do. She tells the core story, but also includes all the background leading up to it, which makes a huge difference. To me, anyways...
Now, because I'm odd and like to annoy people: In exchange for writing the preceding incredibly insightful review (Damn I'm smooth!), here are my ramblings that have nothing to do with the book whatsoever...since I don't believe the review will ever be read anyway. The last time I did this, it was a drunken man-seeking-woman post on an AOL online dating site the night of a bad breakup in the early 90's (dial-up, no less..REAL dark ages stuff)....I'm pretty sure I'm still Persona non Grata with AOL over that one; hate mail kept arriving for weeks. I still laugh over that one....memories are priceless, JUST like me. Agree with me, it's easier.
The problem that I have with this story is the same one I always have with just about every fantasy genre novel (and, don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the genre); although everybody seems to eat on a pretty regular basis with a general lack of available refrigeration and personal hygiene amongst anyone but the nobility, nobody ever seems to have the need to answer an in-opportune call of nature at the worst possible time; such as while they're being pursued by angry mobs, trolls, wild beasts, dragons, a freaking ARMY, etc.. Also, after years of reading the genre, I still have no idea what everyone would be using for toilet paper if they DID actually need "TO GO RIGHT NOW". And nobody ever says, "My saddlebags are packed and ready for a month-long journey across the uncharted wilderness, glad there was room for a couple rolls of TP". There's always a cobbler, blacksmith, baker, etc, but there's never the "Ye Olde Toilet Paper Shop". And how the hell does everybody get their clothes clean and dry (assuming they own anything other than what they're wearing)? Does the castle have a bizarre number of clotheslines going out of windows, likes it's a giant high rise housing project? Is half the city naked in scheduled shifts at the river beating their clothes on rocks? If there is, why are the people downstream not going to war over the fouled drinking water? And if they're so many poor people living in rotting shacks in the shadow of the castle walls like trolls under bridges, where'd they get the clothes to start with? Is the presence of a Salvation Army thrift shop a given? Does the shirt and pants fairy swap them for the rotten teeth that fell out of their head that they left under the pillow they don't have? My kid thinks they should all move; starving in the forest is more enjoyable than starving in a slum where everyone seems to want to cut your throat for the 2 pennies you spent your entire meaningless life saving.
OK, now I'm done. Read the books; they were really well written, and the story was excellent. And nobody ever has the runs. Or dysentery. Or Imodium...but since there's no dysentery, I guess that's not really a problem. Dysentery must really suck without Imodium or Pepto. Who dreamt up the Pepto flavor, I wonder...and was it an accident, or actually on purpose? Nothing else in the world tastes like it, so how would they know when they got it right? Maybe they were just really tired of jerking around with the flavor recipe, and said "Yup, that's the flavor I was going for! Let the selling frenzy begin!". I also wonder if anybody ever actually reads these reviews...it's not one of the first six, so I doubt it. So I ramble to amuse myself.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
It's pretty unusual for me to finish one book and immediately buy the rest of the series. I have to be really impressed.
I have to confess to being a bit reluctant to pick up Shadowborn. It was probably the fourth book I started after trying three others that looked similar, only to put them down after twenty pages or so. There are so many fantasies out there, and frankly, most I see are pretty mediocre.
So I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the writing from the first sentence, the fascinating world and characters, and a story that sucked me right in.
The books are set in the fantastical European medieval kingdom of Heddred. At the age of 12, Catwin, a lowly servant in the Duke of Voltur's castle, is suddenly chosen to become the "shadow" of the Lady Miriel de Vere, his niece, also twelve.
As shadow, she is to be Miriel's bodyguard and when needed, spy and assassin. Though trained by the Duke's own shadow, Catwin is woefully unprepared when she and Miriel travel to the capital. Miriel is meant to entrance the sickly teenage King Garad, and Catwin must do everything in her power to help her. Failure means death. Success might also mean death.
The court is a scary place, full of intrigue and assassination attempts. It doesn't help that Catwin and Miriel hate each other. They are finally reluctantly forced to work together, even though they hesitate to trust anyone.
As Shadowforged begins, Catwin and Miriel have formed an uneasy and conflict-laden alliance. Miriel seems to be poised for success, but her position is beyond precarious.
While Miriel adeptly intrigues with King and courtiers, Catwin is faced with her feelings for Temar, the Duke's shadow. She loves him, but can't trust him. She also puzzles over a prophecy spoken by her birth mother, right before she handed Catwin over to the keeping of the Duke's healer, her real mother figure.
To further complicate matters, there is rebellion brewing in the south, with the young people of the court taking a strong interest. Miriel in particular is captivated by the idea of self-determination for the people, and rather riskily tries to influence the young king into a more enlightened mindset.
In the end, Miriel's obsession with the rebellion leads to the complete annihilation of all of her plans. She and Catwin are then packed off to the Duke's castle, where they can't cause any more trouble.
In Shadow's End, Catwin and Miriel are finally in complete accord, and succeed in freeing themselves from the Duke's authority. They manage to find the rebels, and Miriel quickly becomes a figurehead, albeit one with some real clout.
Catwin continues to fend off assassins, but unfortunately, they are both forced to return to court as war with a neighboring kingdom breaks out.
Things quickly come to a head, and the end is actually quite surprising, and satisfying as well.
Due to the age of the protagonist, this probably qualifies as young adult, but it's a pretty challenging read. Katson doesn't hesitate to throw us into the convoluted politics of Heddred. She's created a complex, interesting world, but it does take a bit of time to work out the roles of all of the key players.
The main characters are amazingly well-developed. I especially enjoyed getting to know Miriel, as Katson unpeeled the layers of her personality like an onion. We get to share Catwin's process of figuring out herself and Miriel at the same time.
Suspenseful, fascinating and intelligently done.