Saturday, February 16, 2013

Where's the next book? And a Review

So James Rollins aka James Clemens, has another new book out -The Blood Gospel.

And yet there is still no sign of the next James Clemens book in the Godslayer Chronicles. Much like there is no sign of the next book in Eric van Lustbader's Saga of the Pearl series.

James Clemen's with his Wit'ch books, the Chronicles of the Banned and the Banished, and the first two books of the Godslayer Chronicles pushed himself high on my list of favorite author's very quickly.

That he can't be bothered to go back to an unfinished series now his mainstream adventure fiction novels are doing well is so disappointing.

For what it's worth - Shadowfall: A Review

Godslayer Chronicles #1
by James Clemens

In a genre fit to bursting with divine wars and magic Knights, Clemens walks familiar territory with the first book in his new series Godslayer. But, with a deft hand, he weaves a tale that has far more originality than is at first apparent. 

In the world of Myrillia, the gods walk amongst men. 4,000 years ago, the Heavens were Sundered during the War of the Gods and they fell to the earth. Binding themselves to the land to offset the madness that was falling upon them, the Gods are confined to the kingdoms they have chosen, or which have sprung up around them and have brought peace and prosperity to mankind. They have taught their Hands - men and women specially trained to serve them - how to harvest the humours of their bodies (Blood, Masculine Seed/Female Menses, Sweat, Tears, Saliva, Phlegm, Yellow Bile and Black Bile) and trained Alchemists make of these humours Blessings that, when applied to either a mortal or inanimate object, instil that human, or object with ‘Grace’.

Among the Graced are the Shadowknights of Tashijan, a military order whose knights are the most sought-after guards, bodyguards and couriers in the world. Tylar de Noche is a disgraced Shadowknight. Betrayed by those he held dearest, he has been stripped of his Grace and had his body broken by a sentence of five years amongst the slave pits and gladiatorial circuses. Trying to hide away and forget his past life in the small realm of the Summering Isles, he is caught up in intrigue and darkness when he comes to the aid of a woman being pursued through the city’s dark alleys. Arriving too late to offer her help, he comforts her in her final moments, only to discover that the woman is Meeryn, the Goddess of the Isles. With her dying breath, Meeryn gifts, or curses, Tylar with untold Grace and charges him to find Rivenscryr. 

Apprehended by her late-arriving guards, Tylar is charged with slaying a god. Discovering the terrible Grace that Meeryn has bestowed upon him, Tylar manages to escapes a fate worse than the torture of the slaves pits and sets out on a desperate quest to find out who had the power to kill a Goddess and to uncover the mystery of Rivenscryr; a journey that will lead him back to the Citadel of Tashijan and the women whose testimony had him cast out of the Order five years before, the woman he loved, and into corruption hiding in the heart of the First Land itself.   

Clemens skilfully weaves various characters and storylines together creating a fast-paced page-turner. Unafraid to explore the darker aspects of human nature some scenes will make you squirm, yet they hold that inexplicable attraction similar to being unable to turn away from viewing an accident scene. Shadow Fall  is fantastic. I highly recommend it!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Memory of Light - Musings

A Memory of Light
The Wheel of Time #14
By Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Well the Wheel of Time never stops turning but it has come to an ending in Robert Jordan's world.

I completed the final book today. Yes it's taken me a month to get through it - and unfortunately not because I was stopping to read ever word over and over (I did a lot of skimming) but because it wasn't anywhere near as compelling as I might have liked, or expected after 20 years and 13 previous volumes.

Unfortunately Jordan passed away and the work has had to be finished by someone else. Now don't get me wrong . I admire Brandon Sanderson greatly, I don't admire or respect the reasons he's publicly stated as to why he took on this project, but I do respect his work. In worlds of his own creation. Namely, and actually only, the Stormlight Archives. But that's just me.

He did a great job, he really did, and I think it's more a testament to the size of the work and the story threads that needed to be tied up than Sanderson's ability as a writer, as to why I was not completely engaged in the final book. And that, if nothing else, is something I will need to watch out for in my own epic work.

Was the final book satisfying? Yes it was. A lot of threads got stitched together, some cut off abruptly (although well done for all that) and a few not answered at all (unfortunately).

The Wheel of Time is certainly a worthy edition to any fantasy collection, and despite any flaws in execution at times I think the first seven books are brilliant. It has been the single biggest influence on my own development as a writer and though I have the books to re-read again and again (and I will) I can't help feel a grief at its conclusions that I have not felt since the news of Robert Jordan's death itself.