There is supposed to be a plot and all, but frankly, it gets lost amid the sappy ham-fisted romance and terrible plot lines. Frankly, I can't remember just how bad the writing was -- probably because the plot was so boring, and the characters so insipid that I was sleeping through most of the book. This book really belongs on the Harlequin romance shelves and NOT the fantasy shelf.
Plowing through The Wayfarer Redemption has scared me away from ever touching anything written by an author with the name of Douglass ever again. There is some other sequel or prequel trilogy called The Axis trilogy or something, but frankly, I can't even bring myself to care enough to write something bad about it other than to say: avoid at the peril of losing your soul.
There is no redemption for The Wayfarer Redemption. These books are going straight to literary hell.
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This one is pretty close to tying with IceWind Dale for the "most Insipidly Bland" fantasy series ever. Oh boy, where do I start with this one? The main character is an utter dolt, the supporting cast cookie-cut out, and the plot There were holes in the plot the size of Australia and characters appear from nowhere only to wander out of the plot just as fast as they were introduced. I'm not even going to get into the characterization -- it was about as laughable as the nonsensical plot threads found in every single one of the books.
David Drake or should I maybe start calling him David Dreck? Ok, that was just mean, I admit Maybe it's not as bad, prose-wise, as some of the other stinkers in the genre, but the fact that Eddings has been re-writing the same story over and over and over and over has earned this book this dubious award. The Redemption of Althalus had nothing redeemable about it.
The characters were cookie cutouts of bad stereotypes and the plot was boring. God forgive the author for the slaughter of trees involved in producing that crap. I would say that Eddings has his own vanilla style of prose, but then again, vanilla actually has some flavor.
Eddings does write some entertaining fantasy for kids, but he's pretty much rewritten his original series four or five times over. The fantasy world has long since evolved. Eddings has not. Ok, I might take a lot of flak for this, but I think she is, in general, a horrific author.
Her plots tend to muddle around in never-never-land and characters are flat as a cookie. The only time she manages to crawl her way out of the bowels of mediocrity is on the contrails of more talented coauthors. Not all her books are bad; several books she coauthors with more talented co-authors I might add are actually quite good The Shadow of a Lion.
The Worst Fantasy Books Ever
I wish I could say the same about the rest of her books. Kan Savasci: a legend, a warrior, a mage… hero and villain. Tears of a Heart marks the tale of a young man, Aeden, who unwittingly shapes the world. The writing is beautiful, layered, and timely. Chase Blackwood weaves an intricate tale that hints at so much more. And that may be its greatest challenge. Tears of a Heart, the first book in the series, was beautifully written, and interesting. It shows us an amazing world filled with detail and depth, but for a portion of it, just a touch slow.
The writing, such beautiful writing, overshadows this, as does the ending. Tower of the Arkein , the next book in the series, is where the story truly begins to unfold, and where Chase Blackwood shines as an author. It is fast paced, full of action, adventure, and love. A very strong entry in the fantasy genre, and if the next book is equally as good, expect it to make quite a splash. You can buy on Amazon now. There were some initially vague similarities to The Wheel of Time, but that soon changed -- and not for the better.
The story started out strong, but somehow everything just grinds to a halt, and I stopped caring about the characters or story. It just sort of dies a slow death, with each of the following books killing the series even more. The characters were two-dimensional and absolutely do not evolve during the course of the series. And the writing. The author tries way too hard with his use of similes. After a while, the book felt to me like it was an unfinished Creative Writing project that's been collectively written with the sole intent of coming up with jarring, awkward similes.
There's a ton of inconsistency too when it comes to the story elements. Characters actions are inconsistent from moment to moment -- at one point, they are in charge and confident, and at another point, they are dimwit followers who act out of character. And the Rune Stone, a major plot element, just loses its free will at one point in the story without any reason. It's almost as if the author was suddenly inspired by Edding's The Belgariad and started pumping out characters taken straight from it. Meli is a re-named Polgara, Travis comes off as a less feisty version of Garion, Falken is borrowed from Belgarath, and Beltan is Mandorellan's clone.
The world is fairly undefined too. It seems as though the characters just walk and walk around in some vaguely midieval landscape.
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I have a bit of a problem when, several books into a series, the author suddenly decides to make the main character gay. Now that's fine if this is the case from the start of the series, but when the author suddenly pulls homesexuality out of a hat way into the novel without warning, well that's not quite fair. Frankly, the author has failed to create a believable world or to create an interesting plot that takes you anywhere, with fully fleshed out characters. The whole series lacks any sort of soul too it; all in all, everything from the characters to the world and the plot are wafer thin.
If mediocrocy could be celebrated, this series would get an award. I can't argue with Card's genius as a writer and the fact that he's usually a great writer, usually. But this book just doesn't merit the sort of praise people seem to give it. Card is a superbly talented writer, creating works of celebrated genius like Ender's Game. However, when he starts bringing his religion into his writing and using his characters and settings to pontificate his strident political views, things take a decided turn for the worse. That's fine if you are writing a book for Mormons, but alas most of us are not.
To really understand anything about this series, you'll need to have read both the Bible and The Book of Mormon. For most of you, climbing Everest would be more appealing. The whole religious thing aside, the story itself and the plot wasn't very interesting. Overall, this whole series was meh, highly overrated and quite boring to read. Epic fantasy that goes bad. In short, I would say the magic system is quite fascinating and unique, almost making up for the fact that everything else is pretty bad. With the exception of maybe Sanderson's allomancy magic in the Mistborn series, The Rune Lord's magic system just about tops off all the other magic systems out there.
The Worst Fantasy Books Ever
Stealing attributes from other people and adding them to your own to gain powers is genius. Keep taking people's abilities and become even more powerful till you achieve something like Godlike superhuman abilities. Everything else about the series comes off as pretty crappy, however.
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The plot -- there is a bad guy to kill and giant cockroaches to stamp out. There's a young prince with some amazing gifts who just might be the one to save the world from evil. Pretty typical stuff. The whole plot threads get even more muddled later on in the series when Farland, perhaps to keep the money train flowing his way, starts writing a sequel, turning the whole series into a sort of angels vs. It's pretty clear that this whole good vs evil thing was hastily added to the canon of the world to continually milk the series.
The whole thing brings to mind Raymond E.
Feist's milking of the Riftwar universe by having the heroes continually struggling against a world-crushing dark god who the heroes conveniently find out by book 10 is the real one pulling the threads behind all the lower bad guy dark lords they keep defeating. Bah, absolute garbage. All in all, Farland's writing comes off as tasteless and bland, devoid of any sort of actual style.
There's also some pretty big inconsistency between what he's trying to say with his words and what he actually describes. This is even more true in the sections where he's trying to convey something grand and dramatic, but in actuality the whole thing comes off as unintentionally funny because it's so gosh darn corny and badly written.
There are certainly worse books out there, and in the epic fantasy category, there's plenty of dreck. The Rune Lords are not terribly bad, but there is something missing in them. Only read these if you've plowed through everything else that's good. The books are not really bad enough to label as the worst, but I feel I should point them out as books you should try to avoid unless desperate. Wow, The Belgariad seems to score an impressive 5 out of 6 on our list of "bad fantasy book" categories. Impressive indeed, and made only more impressive by that fact that Eddings strikes again with another entry on the Worst Fantasy Ever list.
You have to give the man a clap here -- this is truly an astounding feat, matched only by RA Salvatore who also makes the list twice, but with fewer bad categories applied to his name. Bad Bad Bad. Ok, where to start here. I think we should take the time to use Eddings as a case study along the lines of something like "The Portrait of a Fantasy Hack Writer.
by Nora Ephron (2006)
I don't know if the wiki writer had Eddings in mind, but he sure fits the bill. Let's see "low-quality". I'll throw in a few that are missing: unoriginal, copy-cat, and mediocre. Check, check, and double check.kinun-houju.com/wp-content/jyhekif/4026.php
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Yup, he's a hack. A big no no. If you can't write well, stick to at least being honest about your lack of writing skills and stick to writing insipid dreck that you are comfortable doing. Hell, he's more than willing to hack write his own hack written stuff that's a hack of a hack of Lord of the Rings.