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Author Topic: For those that have finished the book  (Read 7675 times)

Offline Overlord

For those that have finished the book
« on: October 09, 2011, 05:32:15 PM »
Here you go! Please leave your thoughts or even a mini review here :)
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline Rhevian

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 07:28:05 PM »
I have already finished reading the book - and I really enjoyed it once the story properly got going in the second quarter. What really struck me is the original plot structure - I don't think I have ever read anything quite like it in fantasy, but it does have an element of classical tragedy. The story grew very naturally from the characters (including Seedless). The whole 'pose' thing was a little odd, but I suppose it was designed to give the world an exotic feel, and didn't take too much 'willing suspension of disbelief'.

As I actually have the "Shadow and Betrayal" edition combining the first two books of the quartet, I have already started reading book two, "A Betrayal in Winter". I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I'll just say the stakes for both Otah and Maati get even higher, and we meet a new Andat.

Offline Ken

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 05:29:47 AM »
This book is pretty short but the characterisation and the world has me hooked. I agree with Rhevian that it's not like other fantasy out there and resembles a tragedy. I see where people draw similarities between this book and A Song of Ice and Fire. Both talk about magic but you see them hardly used and they have drawbacks when used. Also the characters use tricks and schemes instead of pure power to get into position.

There's a resolution at the end, but for me its feels like only at the end of the second or third act and leaves you wanting more. What will happen to Otah, Liat and Maati? and what will happen to Saraykeht now without its Andat? I understand why the first two books came as an omnibus edition because just reading the first book by itself isn't enough.

Offline Jeni

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 11:24:34 PM »
Having finished the book now, I have to say it has left me a little disappointed.
I understood and was aware before I begun reading it that this was the first book in a series of four. Needless to say, this is not the first time I have begun a book knowing that there are more volumes to come - it is impossible to be a fan of fantasy fiction if you only read single volume books! Bearing that in mind, I don't think I have ever read a first installment that was entirely a prologue to a tale that seemed to begin at the end of the book.
I feel cheated.
The pace of the book didn't help any. It started slow, which I did not have an issue with initially as it allowed me time to settle in to a new world become familiar with the characters. But it remained constant throughout, which for me, significantly reduced the impact of the events and left me waiting for something sudden and unexpected to happen, and it never did. There were no surprises, no twists and no race to reach a goal. By the end I was also getting weary of the constant need to insert descriptive passages into a stream of dialogue as this only served to slow the pace even further.
Half the fun of reading a book is being able to get inside the heads of the characters, in a way that is just not possible when you see a story acted in front of you. I felt that this element of character building was lacking to the extent that I believe I would have been more emotionally invested in the characters and their stories if I had seen this translated to screen, or theatre. Most of the the character development was done through what little dialogue occured and the interaction between the characters. I know more about the robes they were wearing than how they justified their decisions or actions to themselves. I think the 'pose' aspect of their language was very inventive, but at the same time, a barrier to getting invested in the characters. The author obviously knows what these poses look like, but they are a completely alien concept to me and I found myself getting distracted quite often, wondering how the characters were standing and moving and if facial expressions were part of the posing, or did they all look like they were dancing?

Having said all that, I actually did enjoy the story. The edition I purchased was Shadow and Betrayal, so I already have the second book in the series and curiosity, if nothing else, will make me read it. One day. Probably.

 :)


Offline Ken

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2011, 05:04:19 AM »
Having said all that, I actually did enjoy the story. The edition I purchased was Shadow and Betrayal, so I already have the second book in the series and curiosity, if nothing else, will make me read it. One day. Probably.
I'm almost done with the second book and it does pick up a bit. The book goes into more detail on Otah, his family and his relationship with Maati and there's much more happening in the second book. The other members say that the third book is where we'll see everything coming together, so I'll just plough on and see.

Offline DBASKLS

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 06:16:08 PM »
I have to agree that after a good build up I felt disappointed with the final part of the book. Very anti-climatic. Sadly I don't have a great urge to rush out to get the rest of the series. I probably would read them, but they'll be at the bottom of the pile.
  • Currently reading : Dominion - C J Sansom
  • On hold : The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson

Offline Rhevian

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 06:41:04 PM »
It would be a great shame not to continue the series - the books do get better, I thought the ending of book 3 quite stunning. (I have now read the whole quartet over the last three weeks)

Offline Overlord

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 09:22:58 PM »
It would be a great shame not to continue the series - the books do get better, I thought the ending of book 3 quite stunning. (I have now read the whole quartet over the last three weeks)


I'm going to stick with them due to yours and Pornos recommendations :)
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline DBASKLS

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2011, 09:59:22 PM »
It would be a great shame not to continue the series - the books do get better, I thought the ending of book 3 quite stunning. (I have now read the whole quartet over the last three weeks)


I probably will but I have a long wish list!
  • Currently reading : Dominion - C J Sansom
  • On hold : The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson

Offline Overlord

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2011, 08:09:37 AM »
Finished now.

Yeah, so, essentially the book has a pretty basic and still somehow confusing plot ;) I think my main problems with it are:
A) you don't really care about the characters.
B) the plot just doesn't appeal to me.

I was never bored reading the book. I think that D.A. has a very intriguing style of writing that keeps you as the reader gripped to the text, but perhaps lacks (at this point - book 1) the ability to emotionally attach you to characters. Something I read in an interview by him rings kind of true here. He basically said that he knew his world too well. What I think he meant by that is he kind of forgot that we didn't really know / love the world yet and because he was writing the book knowing the world and characters very, very well he kind of forgot to explain plots / build characters quite as much as he could have.
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline Ken

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2011, 10:56:42 AM »
Finished now.
Are you going to jump straight to book 2? It does get better.

Offline Overlord

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2011, 05:48:19 PM »
Finished now.
Are you going to jump straight to book 2? It does get better.

I think I will read it after I've finished Myke Cole's book and Emperor's Blade
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline Hoosay

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2011, 01:48:07 PM »
I had intended to comment on this as I went along, but forgot.
I had the version with the first two books in one, and I have to say I preferred the second one.
Overall it was pretty enjoyable, but just a bit too slow for my liking.
And I have to say the posing thing is exceptionally annoying.
The concept of the Andats is good, I liked that a lot. But as someone said above you don't really care about the characters too much, particuarly the old woman (forget her name), I just didn't like her at all and when she then takes over the brothel? What was that all about? It was completely out of character in my view.

As I said though, overall I found it pretty interesting and a decent enough read, but if the second book hadn't been included I may not have gone out of my way to get it, which is a pity because I enjoyed the second one a lot more. And will probably locate the rest of the series when I get the chance.

Offline AnneLyle

Re: For those that have finished the book
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2011, 06:33:36 PM »
I finished on the bus on the way home and I have to confess I loved it. I didn't mind the slow pace, as the world was engrossing and the prose so lovely - and the concept of the andat is just wonderfully original. My only gripe is that the abortion scene was so handled so vaguely that I spent the next several chapters trying to work out what the hell had just happened!

Flaws aside, I consider it to be the best fantasy novel I've read in a long time - a fuller review will appear on my blog later this month.
Elizabethan fantasy trilogy The Alchemist of SoulsThe Merchant of Dreams and The Prince of Lies out now from Angry Robot Books!

Offline AnneLyle

Elizabethan fantasy trilogy The Alchemist of SoulsThe Merchant of Dreams and The Prince of Lies out now from Angry Robot Books!