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Everything posted by kuenjato

  1. No, no big role. About the same as the first. He didn't grow on me, and that's one of the huge disappointments with the series. I do get the feeling he's going to strap in and so something in the third, but I'm not sure what. Mostly, he's hamstrung by having a psychopath for a court advisor.
  2. Good review, Pat. And Lord Varys made some great points as to the book's multifold issues. I hated how the Unver as Shan thread played out. He walks into a trap just 'cause, it what might have been an interesting examination of Thrithings culture and leadership dynamics a la the Aiel in The Shadow Rising, or perhaps a psychological exploration of character under duress as in Kellhus in The Warrior Prophet. Instead, it plays out perfunctory, a paint-by-numbers... disappointing, considering his 'transformation' with the wolves, ravens etc. had been done quite effectively. Then we get some soap opera "OMG who stabbed who?" with Vorzheva in order to alienate the Thrithings and set up an invasion for the third book (which will be rerouted in some convenient fashion to fight the Norns, of course). I was almost about done with the book after that scene.
  3. With all this discussion about sales, I'm wondering what the sales are for The Last King of Osten Ard, and what the expectations were (hence the disappointment Pat mentioned in an earlier post). There is such a huge glut of novels being released every year, even every month, I suppose even big names can get overwhelmed. Or it might be that TW has been dropping off, I mean, did you see the cover 'art' for his last Bobby Dollar novel? It felt like DAW gave an intern a photoshop project -- it seriously looked like a self-published book.
  4. Those stats really mean nothing in terms of sales, though, just internet enthusiasm. Lynch used to post around here before he sold the series, so there's always been favorable bias and occluded perception as to his series at westeros. I'm sure it's changed, but Wert used to pull up the fact that most consumers (like, more than 90%) of fantasy books did not get their info/decision making from the net. Hence Goodkind maintaining bestseller status for many years despite being a laughingstock across many of the common arenas for fantasy discussion.
  5. This hits on another aspect that I found dissatisfying, in that Osten Ard comes off nowadays as cookie-cutter Europe template. This wasn't unusual in 1988, where you had huge-but-shallow stereotype worlds (Eddings), nonsensical worlds (Dragonlance, Shannara), etc. as the general norm. The historical veneer Williams ladled across in doses large and small -- ultimately imparting a more 'tactile' fantasy, in terms of religion, geography, etc -- made MS&T's text really shine, in comparison. But now, compared to what's come out since, Tad's world feels frankly simplistic, with the cultures poorly integrated and the underlying relationships rather vague. It would have been nice to have fleshed out what's to the south, or the huge blankness that looms in the east. Some effort was made, I'll grant you, with the occasional reference-drop of taxation, infrastructure spending, and so forth, but all in all Osten Ard, for me, no longer feels real. It's limitations seem too obvious.
  6. I'm interested just enough about the Norns to read the third book. I really don't care much for any of the main characters, though. I can't even remember what Binibik did for the entire novel, other than chase Morgan through the forest. Unver is just a poor man's Kellhus (complete with no POV) and the whole Thrithings subplot felt weak and contrived. I did like Miri in this book. She's probably the only one of the central cast I'm invested in.
  7. After more than 20 years of this board, we're still seeing this sort of bullshit response? You liked the dumpster fire that was Wise Man's Fear and the insanely insecure cry-for-help that was Slow Regard, so I guess I should question your taste on whether the quality of a piece of fiction? I may seem harsh, but this sort of commentary induces as vacuum in discussion; it is empty, ridiculous, vapid. It would have been flayed in the old days of the board, when there was substantial activity. Back on topic: Pat, what parts of the novel did work for you? Did you scan the critiques I posted earlier? What was the worst of the slog for you?
  8. Sure... I've only read the reviews on Goodreads, and those are mostly gushing. Only a handful seem to feel the same way that Pat and I do. Again, I thought the book was OK... but my overall opinion, walking away, was that there was so much more that could have been done with this world/characters/conflict. Part of this is because a whole new generation of epic-fantasy authors have taken the template in the last couple decades and really pushed the bar up and sideways and twisted it all around. Most of this is just... safe. Boring. Predictable. And so, so overwritten.
  9. We're also not explicitily claiming it's vastly unpopular with the mass majority of readers or that our opinions represent the mass majority of readers,* simply outlining, in clear and concise critiques, why the book is not working for us. It's OK to like the book, it's also OK to see it as a symptom of authorial indulgence festering some quarter-decade unchecked, to the eventual, perhaps inevitable result -- predictable, bloated, and ultimately an unworthy follow up to one of the most influential and acclaimed fantasy serials of the pre-GRRM/Grimdark era. *Actually, Pat alluded to how these books are not selling per expectations, and thus the critiques submitted are actually valuable as potential reasons why The Last King isn't generating hype / best seller status.
  10. Anecdotal evidence FTW. I don't think it's as bad as Pat, but it's completely unexceptional for the most part, and the seams really stand out in several sections as Tad railroads the narrative toward his predetermined outcome -- resulting in the same facile techniques and overall artificiality that's plagued his work from the Otherland days. The only improvement on the original series is that the action is more frequent and generally better written. Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be much reason for this story to exist.
  11. It doesn't significantly improve. It stays about the same all the way through. I feel the last third of TWC and the whole of EoG form this long, steady sense of consistency. If you're not digging it at this point, you might as well skim the rest. Scott is right, Morgan's POV does eventually improve, but really only because he's hanging with a Sithi and learning more about the underlying conflict of the series.
  12. That's a good catch, I didn't associate the two but it wouldn't surprise me if that becomes the case, tragic as it is.
  13. There were some descriptions in either TWC or EoG (they kind of blend together for me at this point) that heavily indicate the Sithi/Norns came from another planet.
  14. I didn't hate it or really dislike it, I just thought the writing was weaker than the original trilogy. In the last thread, someone asked to compare this series to MS&T. The biggest contrast I can give is that, in the late 80's, reading The Dragonbone Chair imparted a sense of mystery and depth, probably much more depth than the text itself contained. With The Witchwood Crown, we already know these characters and this land and there's not a whole lot which is new, outside the Norn mountain-city. The obvious retreading of old ground (Urmshiem, Naglimund, Hjelden's tower, etc. etc) really contribute to this uneasy feeling that, while there is a story here that could be told and told really well (the Sithi/Norn & Unbeing backstory), a lot of this feels middling or unnecessary. And though there was very little action in The Dragonbone Chair, that novel contains an impressive atmosphere of discovery and gradual revelation, allowing the descriptions and overall prose to come across as necessary in constructing the novel's themes and development, rather than--in TWC and EoG--feeling like constant bloated diversions perpetually staving us off to the next artificial climax or authorial indulgence (lost in the woods again, hey ho!).
  15. Just finished it. Kinda tired, so I'll boil this down to some bullet points. Things I liked: Expands upon the underlying lore from the first book, and that lore is threaded throughout the novel rather than kept at the back end. Also of interest are the discrepancies in the myths regarding Unbeing, with the creatures under Nakkiga claiming the 'Vao' summoned it (implied, the Tunukeda'ya), while Tanahaya tells Morgan that the Norns were responsible. Not enough info to parse this, yet, and I think the answer lies somewhere in between. Miri was enjoyable to read, once she was separated from Simon. Like in TWC, I enjoyed reading about the Norns the most. As a kid, I always wondered what Stormspike was like, and the various weird/creepy environs of Nakkiga were well written. Has better pacing than TWC, though it shares the same problem of that novel (see below...) There are great little moments scattered throughout. Unfortunately... What I didn't care for: Just like TWC, this one is overwritten and under-edited. I felt the drag of it mostly in the beginning and around the 50-60% mark. This felt like a good 400 page novel woven into 600 pages. Of course, this disease afflicts so much epic fantasy -- making doorstoppers simply to make doorstoppers, without much consideration to what would make the books stronger, tighter, more effective -- that it's almost expected. See: Erikson, Sanderson, most Big Name fantasy authors, really. Repetition - expository excess. In TWC, there was a scene about halfway through the novel where Simon and Miri and Eolair and Tiamak discuss the plot of the novel for around 3 pages before reaching a decision of action that moves the narrative forward slightly. It was a "As you know..." scene, and this sort of bloat is interwoven throughout both books -- meandering conversations, repetition of information already presented, sometimes excessive descriptions, etc. Repetition - we're hitting all the locales and events of the first trilogy, to the point that it sometimes feels like a retread - Urmshiem, Naglimund, Dai'a Chikiza, etc. etc. If not for the lore and the underlying threat of Utuk'ku's plan, a lot of this would feel like an unnecessary exercise, sort of like Donaldson's third attempt at Covenant. Repetition - Most of the characters have the same "voice" when reflecting or conversing. Chalk it up to authorial style, but it creates this sheen of repetition where you already know what Tad will write paragraphs or even pages before it arrives. I didn't care for the fact that Joshu is still MIA. Feels like a last-minute appearance in book three is going to happen. I didn't care for how TW railroaded the events after Unvar became the Shan, reminded me of the worst parts of Otherland. TW has this fondness for leaving a chapter at a cliffhanger and then shoving 50 or more pages in between, as if this generates tension rather than annoyance. Nothing like concluding an epic sequence with a cliffhanger, only to find a whole chapter of Simon or Morgan or (shudder) both looming ahead! While nothing here was to the excess of Mountain of Black Glass, where Orlando + co were abandoned in dire straights for like a hundred pages, it's still not very well done or necessary, IMO. Someone asked how this compares to The Dragonbone Chair / first series to a long-term reader in the last thread. When I muster the energy, I'll present a critique as to why the first trilogy remains superior to the second.
  16. So I finished my re-read of TWC and am now around 250 pages into EoG. As the other thread has hit 21 pages, I figured a spoiler thread to discuss the pros and cons of the trilogy was in order. I'm going to wait on commenting on the stuff in EoG, except to say this: the book is a moderate improvement on TWC, in that it retains (mostly) the slightly-faster pacing of TWC's last third. If this seems muted praise, it is. There was a pretty good 400 page novel in TWC's nearly 700 pages, and some of the bloat is pretty apparent in EoG's first third, making me think this will be about the same.
  17. I remember him stating this in an interview waay back in the day - how each book would be 9 months or so, because he had it all plotted out. Which would mean, if all had gone to plan, we'd be getting close to wrapping up the second 7 book series he had announced back then, rather than relieved/exited about book 4. I think that was coming off the author's personal rush of banging out book 1 and the positive reception. Lynch's anxiety issues started around 2008, right? I thought book 2 was a step down and found book 3 tedious, but I'm still rooting for the series.
  18. That looks uninspired. A chick with a sword against a brick wall.
  19. Pretty spot-on list, thanks. I plan to try the traditional route first (mine for an agent) and if that proves unsuccessful, self-publish.
  20. Thanks for creating the thread. I've looked at your sample at amazon because of it. Hopefully more of our board authors will pitch in. I've been working on a series / stand-alones for a long, long time, about a million and a half words in. Might make the jump to the agent query next year, and if that doesn't pan out, self publishing. If you don't mind, what are some of the pitfalls and promising marketing strategies you've encountered on the way?
  21. "If you love ice cream and you can go downstairs to get it, it's not going to take much of your time, so its value is small. If the only ice cream is in France, and you decide to go there to get it, that means you really love ice cream because you are giving up a great deal of your life to go to France to get the ice cream." Good God what sort of author writes interview-replies like this? oh, wait.
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