Friday, May 08, 2009

I've been on vacation, and I'll post details soon. While on vacation, I finished two books - In the Ruins by Kate Elliot and Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind.

In the Ruins is the 6th book in Elliot's Crown of Stars series. I wrote about two of the earlier books here and here. From the foreword, there were supposed to be six books in the series but there were too many plot threads and characters too wrap up in one book. This seems to be a common failing in these huge series - George R. R. Martin has had the same issue with his Game of Thrones series and the person who is finishing Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series has made the same comment. Also, like a lot of these series, the new books get harder and harder to read as it becomes difficult to keep track of all the intricacies of the plot without re-reading the old books.

The book itself is just OK. It kept me busy on the plane, but didn't have any thing really interesting to offer.

The 2nd book, Temple of the Winds, is very different. Although it is part of a larger series, Goodkind's books are mostly self-contained, with only a few continuing plot elements. The problem here is that the individual story isn't very good. At the core of the book is an absurdly constructed dilemma. It's designed to wring the maximum pathos from the characters, but doesn't make any sense in terms of the story. It feels like the author came with this dilemma and then tried to shoe-horn a book around it.

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