When I picked up The Singer’s Crown and read the back of it, I thought it sounded pretty generic, but an instinct told me that I should pick it up and give it a try. I don’t know, perhaps I’m desperate for another Carol Berg or Lynn Flewelling. I’m not exactly sure what tree I was barking up here, because Elaine Isaak’s work made this review less of a “Did Not Finish” and more of a “Barely Began”.
The one thing I liked about The Singer’s Crown was that when the blurb on the back talks about Kattanan being mutilated, it means that he was made a eunuch. That was a good twist, right at the beginning, and boy was I glad to see an Evil Usurping Uncle™ that had the brains and good sense to make such a move. The bad guy is almost never that smart. I’m afraid, though, that’s the best I can do. I can’t even give Isaak props for her basic writing structure, because it was clunky and often convoluted.
Normally I try to read at least half a book before giving it a review, but lately I’ve had more and more reasons to break that rule. The Singer’s Crown is horribly written, awkward and vague, with a feeling of being rushed. I wasn’t pulled in by a single one of the characters, hated the selfish, spoiled Princess Melisande, and couldn’t suspend my disbelief enough to tolerate what was going on. I mean, come on now. A scorned suitor who speaks of dabbling in wizardry and our heroes can’t even form a clue as to what sent the dogs into a berserk, murderous rage?
I’m out of patience for this sort of thing. A book that’s written in a style that’s vague, wordy, and convoluted is not brilliant. It’s not good literature. It’s not deserving of patience or effort. Especially not in the case of The Singer’s Crown. Some such books have redeeming factors in the way of interesting characters or exciting action, or something, but this book? This book has nothing. I guess that’s the last time I listen to my instincts.
The Singer’s Crown & The Eunuch’s Heir — (2005-2006) Publisher: When his uncle murders his family to take over the kingdom, Prince Kattanan duRhys is the only one of royal blood left alive… at a terrible cost. Mutilated, he can neither longer claim his throne, nor sire heirs to reign against the tyrannous new ruler. Trained as a harmless singer, Kattanan falls into an impossible, secret love with the Princess Melisande. But her jealous fiancé has his own nefarious plans, including a dark conspiracy with Kattanan’s traitor… and a sinister magic that could destroy the kingdom. Banished, betrayed, rescued and revealed, Kattanan becomes the focal point of his grandmother’s obsessive plot to depose his uncle. But can he gain the throne? And at what price? With the help of a disgraced prince, a female wizard, a powerful magic–breaker, a fiancé he doesn’t want, and the man in love with her, Kattanan finds an unorthodox way to reclaim his kingdom and win the heart of his love.