Friday, May 9, 2008

The Crystal Stair by Grace Chetwin

Link to synopsis: The Crystal Stair (Tales of Gom in the Legends of Ulm)

While the last book felt a little slow, this one seemed just a tad quicker paced. I wonder if this series was an early work for Chetwin, as you can see her improving from book to book.

A few critical points I picked out:
1. Everyone is either obviously good or bad. You know within the first paragraph of meeting someone what side of the line that character is on, and you can rely on the fact that there will be no changing sides. It makes the story feel a little flat.

2. The book especially has a number of scenes where you just can't believe the main character is stupid enough to do some of the things he does. It just lacks that human quality of common sense, even as rare as it is. Again, this flattens the story.

Date Completed: 5/7/08
Rating (1-5): 3.7

The Riddle and the Rune by Grace Chetwin

Link for synopsis: Riddle and the Rune, The

So life has been busy, but I did pick up the Gom of Windy Mountain series again. Actually, I had to request it from the library, since it seems to be a fairly rare and yet popular series. In some ways I can see why, as you get to know the characters through page after page of hearing their inner thoughts and seeing the world from their point of view. For the same reasons I can see why this book hasn't quite made the list for a reprint. Chetwin's story, although captivating in its detail, can be a bit slow at times, especially when compared with the newer competition in the juvenile section.

One thing I find interesting as I go through this series is that at the end of the book it might seem like relatively little actually happened. It reminded me of The Spiderwick Chronicles in that way, only these books are longer, yet the stories are comparable in how the progress per book. Just a random thought.

Date Completed: 5/5/08
Rating (1-5): 3.5

Magician: Master by Raymond Feist

Link for synopsis: Magician: Master (Riftwar Saga)

So where I was disappointed with the first book in this series, I am feeling a lot better after this one. The connection between these books is more solid than many others series as it reads more like one continuous story. The conflict I felt at the end of the last book with relationships--oh and the fact the main character had disappeared-- were resolved as all of the loose ends are picked up fairly early in this book. The adult fiction aspect shows up in the intense mental and political story lines, although I shouldn't overlook the fact that the more *ahem* adult aspects of relationships are a part of this story as well, but not so much that a middle-schooler would be confused. This series has turned into a good read, although not the best I've read. Respectable though. Very respectable. And yes, I am going to continue reading the series.

Date Completed: 4/30/08
Rating (1-5): 3.9