Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Age of Misrule and The Magicians

Always Forever brings Mark Chadbourn’s Age of Misrule trilogy to a close, and this three week review-a-thon as well. Most novels that close out series are stuck with holding the full judgment of the series on its proverbial shoulders and in this case, it did a good job on its own and in closing the series. With the review posted last night, you all know the blurb follows:

How does the series as a whole rank in today’s current crop of fantasy literature? Very well, I think. Chadbourn’s writing is both evocative and clear, the imagery he conjures is resonant, while still being original. At times, the plot throughout the trilogy does have the video-game feel of it in that the characters must find an object to keep going. Early on, and Chadbourn seems to have grown out of this habit by trilogy’s end, chapters or mini-chapters broke with characters blacking out. In that sense, it was very nice to see Chadbourn’s writing and storytelling skills grow and mature as the story progressed.

Flavors of Horror, Dark Fantasy, Mythic Literature, and Epic Fantasy blend very well and that might be the strength of the trilogy. Chadbourn doesn’t sacrifice one for the other and balances the subtleties of each subgenre very well throughout the three books.

Last night I finished up a great fantasy novel that is being marketing to mainstream audiences: The Magicians by Lev Grossman. The book was terrific and has some impressive blurbs by George R.R. Martin and Kelly Link. Additionally, Viking is really doing a viral marketing program with a handful of Web sites:

All that superfluous material and detail aside, the book was an engrossing read which became increasingly addictive as the plot moved along. I’ll have a full review at SFFWorld in the next couple of weeks, but this will probably be a top 10 read for me for this year.

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