mtvessel: (Default)
Aug 2013
Before They Are Hanged - Joe Abercrombie - Gollancz ebook, 2009
* * * *
I was not particularly complimentary about the previous book in this series, so I'm pleased to be a bit more positive about this one. Which is not to say that all the problems have been fixed - the map is still missing, women are still under-represented, and the world and the magical system are insufficiently explained - but the chief problem of lack of character agency is less overt. This feels like a proper start to the story and one that I can now see myself finishing.
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mtvessel: (Default)
Nov 2009
The Blade Itself - Joe Abercrombie - Gollancz, 2007
* * *
A common complaint levelled against epic fantasy by critics (when they deign to comment at all) is that it concentrates on world-building and simplistic manichean plotting at the expense of the character complexity and development that is the stuff of "real" literature. This might have been the case fifty years ago - no-one would, I think, read the Conan books for psychological insights into their protagonist - but since then there has been a progressive tendency for characterisation to be foregrounded over world-building. On the whole this is a good thing, but some writers are beginning to take it too far. Case in point: The Blade Itself.
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