Friday, February 28, 2014
A wiseman named Bevlin had foreseen events taking place in the present and had dispatched a young knight named Tawl on a vague quest to "find the boy". Tawl is imprisoned by the corrupt archbishop of Rorn. He is eventually released so the archbishop can try and figure out what he is up to. The archbishop also gets wind of Baralis' plans and is very uneasy about them.
At first glance the Baker's Boy might appear to be a combination of standard fantasy stereotypes. This is certainly not the case. What I found extremely refreshing is that the plot focussed on the three villians, Baralis, Maybor and the archbishop and their plots as well as how they play spoiler to the three heroes. However I did have some trouble with the characterization for the three as they are all too much like stereotypical villains and can lack a degree of complexity. For example the archbishop is portrayed as glutton in almost every scene he appears in and they all seem to suffer from an unrealistic overconfidence. Oddly enough the only villain who doesnt seem to fall into this trap is Baralis assisant and I'm curious to see how he develops.
Pacing is very well controlled and the world-building is interesting as well.
Overall I enjoyed the different approach by focusing on the villains' various schemes but bit more complexity in their characterization would have been a great touch. 7.5/10.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
The first thing that I noticed about this novel is that the prose does not gel with the 'dark' fantasy setting the author was trying to create. It is rather simplistic and underdeveloped.
Most of the characters come across as highly naive. While this may suit Merida it certainly doesn't suit the rest of the cast.
The plot is highly unorganized and scampers all over the show. There is very little build up to important moments and it often seems to lack an overall vision.
There aren't quite enough typos to say the book was riddled with them but there are certainly enough to be distracting.
While the basic premise of Storm Dancer had potential, huge problems in the prose, character development and overall plot made it a chore to read. 3/10.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
As one would hope in the concluding volume in a series plot lines are constantly being resolved throughout this novel. This set up a steady pace throughout which certainly kept me engaged.
As always the main strength of any Donaldson novel is the depth of his characters. Covenant, Linden and Jeremiah all get point of view chapters and Donaldson does an amazing job of showing the toll the strain of events takes on each of them. The cast of support characters are also exceptionally strong and well fleshed out.
Overall strong pacing and engaging characters make for a fitting finale for one of the cornerstone series in fantasy literature. 8.5/10.