I adore Jacqueline Carey's Kushiels series, so I picked this book up hoping to like it as much. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into it, even though I tried 3 times to finish it. It reminded me a lot of LOTR.
I don't even know where to begin with this review. Overall the series was interesting and exciting, but the end was disappointing. It is worth reading once. Banewreaker was my favorite in the two books series.
Good: Ms. Carey is a great author. She has awesome character descriptions and creates a very vivid world. Her idea to tell a Lord of the Rings type of epic from the "bad guys'" point of view is amazing. I have always ended up liking the bad guys, and this story just proves you can see things from so many different angles. I also loved how she challenged the validity of following a Prophecy just because some ancient god set it up.
Bad: This series was so hard to get into. I got Banewreaker and couldn't get more than 20 pages into for months. But once I did sit down with it, I got really into the story. It just took a while. Also, the characters were a bit too preachy on the whole "you have to see it from OUR point of view. What makes YOU so right?" I thought that was the whole point of the story, so why do they have to repeat that message so many times? Another bad thing, about the series overall, was that it did not end the way I wanted it to. I was soooo sure it would turn out one way, and it totally didn't. grr.
So, with the good and the bad, I still think this was a great series to read once. It is an awesome epic fantasy with a great premise by an author I really like.
J. Carey takes the classics bits of a fairy tale and turns it around and tells it from another point of view. Why would orcs and goblisn and such be raiding human farms? Because we stole the land from them to begin with. And the dragon? Protecting his mistress. Once you understand why any thinking creature does what it does, it is much harder to simply label it with the blanket Evil.
I've read this series twice and it made me cry both times because of it's raw beauty.
I enjoyed this book. I knew going in that it was meant to be essentially The Lord of the Rings from the bad guys' perspective. And that made me a little nervous, not because I wouldn't enjoy that sort of thing, but because I feared it meant I'd get attached to protagonists who were doomed. To avoid spoiling anyone, I will refrain from saying whether or not my worry was justified.
I felt there were a few too many characters, which resulted in less development all around. I would have preferred her to focus on a few, like Tanaros and Lilias, and develop them more thoroughly. I just couldn't force myself to care about a lot of the other characters at all.
I think a lot of the criticism I've seen of these books on amazon and such is a bit unfair, coming from people who expected these to be similar in style from her Kushiel books. If you set that expectation aside, I think these books are for the most part enjoyable.
Having been a fan of Carey's Kushiel series, I was looking forward to the same sort of reading experience. Pleasantly suprising to note that this series is nothing like the Kushiel series; it is thought provoking and well written. Definitely not for the casual simpleton, though. Young or less-educated readers may need some help understanding this series. I highly recommend it as a deep and satisfying read.
The prose is good.
The plot is classic, but the point of view is unique and awesome. She takes the basic idea of good vs. evil, and then makes you sympathize with the evil side. The bad guy is still clearly bad, but you understand why. I feel like when authors normally try to play with this good/evil concept, they just end up making the evil into good. But here, evil is still evil.
And the setting is interesting, it draws from mythology and characters we've seen before, but in a good way.
Basically, I thought she tried to make a story that we are all familiar with, but then change the point of view. And I thought she did it well :)
I loved Jacqueline Carey's "Kushiel" series. This blew it out of the water! One of the most intriguing duologies I've ever read. And absolutely heart-rending. Had the misfortune to complete book 2 when I was at lunch in a busy restaurant, and could not stem the tears. Amazing writer -- well worth the time to invest in these 2 series!
After reading the "Kushiel" series I couldn't wait to read Carey's new series. Disapointing. I couldn't finish it- it was so dry, nothing at all like what I'd come to expect from her previous writings.
It's been a minute since I've read this series, but I remember devouring it. I loved that it wasn't your typical take on the villain and the ones you thought were cruel and evil seemed to be just misunderstood....I thought it was great, with just a tad bit of romance in it. I remember being so sad that there wasn't a third book in the serious.....but if you read the sequel, you will know why there isn't one....to each his own, but I didn't think it anywhere near as bad as some of the other reviews...I rather enjoyed it.