My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Review: Lord of the Fire Lands

Lord of the Fire Lands Lord of the Fire Lands by Dave Duncan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Narration: Passable

This story was billed as a stand-alone part of a larger series and it seems like it lives up to that promise (which is good, because I have not read any of the other books). The Norse World Building was actually pretty decent; how it was done much less so ... To start with, there was a crap ton of talking and very little action in the beginning (Elevating the art of Info Dumping to a ridiculous level). Unfortunately, the narration actually made this worse. Then after introducing the main characters in part 1, the story then dives down a rat hole with some dude named Gerard (its was not clear to me that the next 11 freaking chapters were a flashback from a POV that was not really a character in the story ... Who does that?)... regardless, Gerard seems to be there just to give some overly detailed background that served no purpose that I could detect. Sometimes more is not better.

It was not until half way through the book that the flashbacks end and we finally get to the actual story. Fortunately, although I was tempted, I had not abandoned the book. This is where the story finally gets interesting (feel free to skip Parts 2 thru 5 ... you won't miss much). The story then picks up with Raider and Wasp on the run trying to piece together exactly who the bad guys are and why (this was the story that I was expecting). It's a fair story that includes individual conflict and some simplistic political intrigue, but using 'magic' to solve most of the mystery with a ghostly soliloquy seems a bit lazy to me. Add to that a ridiculous ability to get the bad guys to admit their wrong doing at sword when they pretty much know that they won't survive the encounter (like a bloody TV show where we get a confession as soon as the bad guy is arrested). Still, it would have secured 3 stars if not for having to suffer through the first half of the book.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#feeaudiobookcodes #audiobookboom

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.