Review: Lord of Emperors

lordofemperorsTitle: Lord of Emperors (2000)
Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
Pages: 580
Series: The Sarantine Mosaic #2 (Series Tracker)


Coming off the great Sailing to Sarantium, I was let down by part two of this duology. This book expands on several story threads and introduces new characters that I struggled to invest in. I would have been perfectly satisfied with a book solely focused on Crispin and the construction of his grand mosaic. Kay pushes the story well beyond the reaches of Crispin’s plight and, in doing so, created a story that feels uneven, unwieldy, and mostly uninteresting to me. It is still beautifully written and ambitious, so I certainly do not regret finishing it, but it falls towards the bottom of what I’ve read from GGK so far.

★★★ out of 5

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Review: The Curse of Chalion

the-curse-of-chalionTitle: The Curse of Chalion (2000)
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Pages: 512
Series: World of the Five Gods #1 (Series Tracker)

The Curse of Chalion is beautifully written high fantasy novel with court intrigue, an interesting religious structure, and a varied cast of likable characters. The story follows a former castillar named Cazaril who attempts to put his life back together after being wronged by a rival. Cazaril is incredibly easy to root for and his story arc is very satisfying.

This book has done a nice job of filling the Robin Hobb-less void in my life and I look forward to reading the other novels and novellas set in this world.

★★★★ out of 5

Review: Ship of Destiny

9780006498872-ship-of-destiny-1Title: Ship of Destiny (2000)
Author: Robin Hobb
Pages: 903
Series: Liveship Traders #3, Realms of the Elderlings #6 (Series Tracker)

Ship of Destiny shows the convergence of 10+ main characters and their storylines, which was mostly satisfying, but sometimes felt muddled because of how many moving pieces were suddenly occupying the same space. Nevertheless, author Robin Hobb has built an incredible world with a boatload of characters, all of whom, no matter how small, have important roles to play in the end.

I loved the addition of Tintaglia the dragon and just the overall direction that dragon-kind appears to be taking in the long-term series — having the creatures be intelligent instead of beast-like is always my preference. Hobb writes Tintaglia in a way that makes you believe her to be more enlightened and significant than any mere human we’ve come across so far. Not every writer can successfully cultivate that voice.

After two novels of carefully plotted set-up, Ship of Destiny delivers an action-packed conclusion to what was a wonderfully epic trilogy. The final book of the preceding Farseer trilogy meandered about until everything was tied up at the very end, but Ship of Destiny balances the payoffs to hit evenly throughout the course of the book. Overall, the whole of the story feels greater than the sum of its individual book parts and the Liveship saga is an absolute feat of storytelling. On to the Tawny Man trilogy!  

★★★★¼ out of 5