1995.08


Naked Empire: Sad decline

Naked Empire by Terry Goodkind

The Sword of Truth, though a bit derivative, started off well and, while it has had its stops and starts, it has generally been well-worth reading.

Sadly, Naked Empire fails even the minimal standard of "if it's in a series, you've gotta read it if only to know what happens." So little of import happens here, and it's so painful to get to what little does, that it simply isn't worth it. The book is preachy, talkative, dogmatic, repetitive, one-sided, and simplistic, with the "arguments" ridiculously stacked. All of which possibly could have been forgiven if it weren't only those things — if you could have been drawn in by strength of character or plot or ideas. But there are no new characters of interest introduced, the main characters have become in this book either uninteresting or unlikeable, and the action (what little there is) is predictable and not particularly exci... Read More

Ship of Destiny: Strong conclusion to an exciting trilogy

Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb

With so much being churned out in the way of epic fantasy, it's always a pleasure to come across something original and unique. I felt that way about Robin Hobb's Farseer books and wondered if she'd be able to maintain such high standards in Liveship Traders.
While I don't believe she quite got there (it is after all a pretty high bar she set herself), this series certainly stands on its own as quality fantasy, and Ship of Destiny is a fitting conclusion (though one wonders if that word has been banned from the genre).

The basic storyline is both original and interesting, and Hobb manages to avoid the typical banalities of genre fiction. She creates characters far more often than character types and then flings them out into... Read More