Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prince of Storms & Wise Man's Fear

Sometimes books take longer to pull of the to-read pile than I initially intended. This doesn't mean I didn't want to read it, just that other books kept pushing it down. Well, I finally remedied that last week, at least with one book. Kay Kenyon's The Entire and the Rose four-book saga concluded early last year and as a whole, I thought the series was great. Here's the blurb from my review of the concluding volume, Prince of Storms:

...that fourth and final volume arrived and despite having the book for a year before reading it, the story was fresh enough in my mind that I was able to pick up the storyline very quickly. The storyline is quite simple – the protagonist Titus Quinn has a difficult choice to make. He must determine the outcome of two worlds – his birth world of Earth (the Rose) and his adopted alien world the Entire. Complicating this choice is the fact that his daughter Sydney was taken by inhabitants of the Entire, and because of the inequality of time’s passage on the two worlds, she has risen up to a position of power in the beautiful world of the Entire and taken the name Sen Ni. Kay managed to make The Prince of Storms a strong novel that truly wraps up the story rather than simply extending it. In other words, the series is incomplete without the book and the book itself is necessary and not simply tacked on and is more than a mere afterthought or epilogue to the saga.

Also, Mark weighed in on what is, thus far, the biggest fantasy novel of the year, both from a sales and critical/reader response perspective. Of course, I mean The Wise Man's Fear:

This voyage of discovery resonated with lots of other tales for me. Whilst reading I was reminded of many, including Robert Silverberg’s Lord Valentine’s Castle, Raymond Feist’s Magician and even The Empire Strikes Back or the TV series Kung Fu.

None of this is a particularly bad thing. Partly as a result of these touchstones, the tale in its telling feels deceptively comfortable and engaging, likeable and engagingly atmospheric.

Some have commented that it is a somewhat leisurely trawl through the story. I didn’t have any problems with that, personally, though some readers have felt it to be slow. I prefer to think of it as ‘that immersive thing’. With such an immersive process there’s a lot to follow and a lot to remember, some of which is as a consequence of the events of the previous novel. I would recommend reading (or re-reading) The Name of the Wind before it, though.

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