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Tendrils of Darkness — Epilogue
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We are nearing the end of the year. Good books as well as bad books have been read. Pages of joy, of agony and of “Do I have to? have been demolished.
To stimulate your brain, first we are serving you with the Worst Reads of 2013 (published 2013). Now before you cry foul of your “favourite” read this year, be aware that this is just 4 people’s opinions albeit quiet a knowledgeable one. We give you reasons why, so read away, agree with us or lambaste us, the choice…is yours.
The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett
Jon Snow: The Painted Man was an amazing book. Like ‘recommend to all my friends and see how much it costs for a hardback version on ebay (too much)’ kind of amazing. The Desert Spear was a let down for me. It never reached the heights of the first book and the characters were beginning to become annoying. Well the third book tried to make amends but the annoying characters got replaced by more annoying characters. Brett tries to incorporate strong women into the story but “suddenly” they all just crave sex and jump in bed with anyone. I’ll still read the Skull Throne but only because the Painted Man was so damned good. I’m in it for the long haul now. Masochist, I am.
Ben: Definitely my pick for one of the worst reads of 2013. I had high hopes for this series with the first book which was an all out exciting read. Book 2 (The Desert Spear) was a disappointment but I had hopes for The Daylight War to set things right. Alas, it did not. The characters just didn’t seem to act in a believable way, the romantic elements seem forced and not at all coherent with the original narrative of the first couple books, and the Mary Sue lead female character didn’t improve anything. On the positive the action scenes were awesome.
Laurentius: I cannot say I was excited for this book, but I hoped it would take after The Warded Man, and let’s be honest; it really needed to do so after the catastrophe that is The Desert Spear. The story degenerates further and further. The Daylight War is more a mix between Dragonball Z and Days of our Lives, than a fantasy story. At almost every turn there has to be an unexpected twist, and the characters just seem to level up faster and faster (the demons too, not to forget). The painted man was one of my favorite novels of 2009, but the sequels have not made the story any better. I will probably give the next book a chance as well, but following the last two books in this series, my expectations are at an all-time low.
Danica: Firstly, stupid title, there is barely a daylight war at all. To me the thing I love about the books was the conflict between the human and the demons, now it is a conflict between two people that ‘should’ lead the humans against the demons. This marks the turning point in the series. The book is filled with power grabbing, politics, jealously and STUPID plot lines that create conflict and tension, with no resolve and for no reason and weren’t even tied to character development in any believable way. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few good chapters and a few good bit of writing but overall characterisation was unbelievable, plot lines were slow and filled with unimportant and uninteresting detail and conflict, definitely one of my worst reads fro 2013.
The City by Stella Gemmell
Jon Snow: Expectations are a bad thing. With the last name Gemmell it can end well or end terribly. This book made no sense. The characters didn’t make sense, the plot didn’t make sense and the ending was stupid. The only reason why I read this all the way to the end was because it was written well. It flowed easily while making no sense. Also, four fifths of the way through a book, I don’t really care for a page length description of a palace bedroom.
A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson
Ben: I won’t say this is a bad book, or the “worst read” I’ve had this year, but it was one of the more disappointing reads. My hat off in respect to Sanderson for finishing what had become a bit of a mess. The seemingly never-going-to-end series that required two different authors to complete it actually ended. Big points for that. But I still found the book mildly disappointing. To me the last book felt like one long cameo for the series’ many minor and major characters. There were some good parts too but overall, I felt…disappointed with the book. Perhaps it was the impossible expectations I’ve had for the series since starting the first book a long time ago in a far, far away place.
Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
Ben: Another book that I’ve been looking forward to for…well years, but one that left me disappointed. Another hyped up book that failed to deliver on expectations. Lynch’s writing is as entertaining as ever as are the characters and their charming interactions. But I felt the novel was off kilter. My biggest complaint was completely fake romance between Locke and Sabatha. Locke, who comes off as completely confident and successful in pretty much every venture he puts his hand to, spends most of the book reduced to a bumbling romantic, begging Sabatha to give him another chance. This big relationship that’s been hinted at for the last two books proves to be a complete disappointment. I much prefer Locke when he’s plotting robberies over his wooing. Half of the book were flashbacks to Locke’s childhood — scenes involving Sabatha. However, these came off as disjointed and while they were used to fill in the Sabatha backstory, I felt they really didn’t deliver too much to the story in the end. Overall, a good read — one of the better reads this year due to the awesome reading and return to Locke’s world, but a disappointing one.
Laurentius: This is by no means a bad book. But it turned out to be one of the worst reads for me in 2013 anyway. If you want a detailed how and why, look up my earlier review. To sum it up, it was a huge disappointment. Locke and Jean are back after 6 years, and the usual hum-drum is forgotten. I missed it in this book. The old recipe of a 2-part storyline is back once again, but this time around I felt I detracted from the overall story, instead of adding to it. Locke Lamora used to be a quick-witted masterthief, but is outdone on all aspects in this book. Too much teen romance and too little plotting and stealing.
The Beating of His Wings by Paul Hoffman
Laurentius: The publishing of The Beating of his wings went by unnoticed by me. I picked it up a month after in came out. I liked book 1 in this series a lot. Book 2 was not good. Book 3 is worse still. It went from a story about a boy, to an alternate history lesson (or future earth history lesson). I was left disappointed. Thomas Cale is a pale shadow of himself and most of the book is full of trivial details or characters. If you’ve read the first book, but haven’t gotten around to the 2nd or 3rd, I’d advice to go no further.
Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb
Laurentius: I have not been too crazy about this story. Robin Hobb is a good writer, and it shows. The story is fine and the characterization is as always top notch. But this trilogy and book turned out to be about anything but the dragons. The dragons and their return to the world is a subplot, taking place when not having to go through the teenage-angsty relationships of the dragonkeepers and their squabbles. I wanted a lot more dragons and a lot less rain wild people. Would still recommend to anyone who likes Robin Hobb, but I was left wanting more dragons in the end!
So there you have it folks. The winner by a long way is The Daylight War. Who would have put money on that being the worst read of 2013 at the start of the year? Not I, that’s for sure! Look out next week for the Best reads of 2013. Be sure to comment and suggest your worst read(s) too!
Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings -- cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.
Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings' laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha'ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings' mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings' power...if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don't find her first.
Blog editor, admin and founder of BestFantasyBooks.comYou'll find me on the BestFantasyBook forums and spending my spare time reading fantasy books and writing lists for this site. In fact, I have no spare time -- running this site IS my spare time!