Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Books read in 2015: No. 8 -- Veil of the Dragon (Book I of The Prophecy of the Evarun)

by Tom Barczak

Started: Jan. 28
Finished: Feb. 4

Notes: This fantasy e-book caught my attention because of its cover. Simple, somewhat dark, elegant. I like fantasy covers like that. In fact, I tend to prefer them over the ones that have lots of extravagant artwork. Just my preference, though. This is my first time to read this author, so now I'll see if his prose matches his cover.

Mini review: Great story, intriguing characters, interesting background, solid prose (though perhaps too flowery in places), but a couple of downfalls for me. First, practically nothing happens in the first half of this novel; after a smart beginning, two characters walk through some woods while occasionally having chats with strange figures. Second, and more importantly for me, there is such a mix here of visions and dreams and prophecies that more than a few times it is impossible to tell what is happening. Related to this, character deaths mean practically nothing here because of all these visions and prophecies; the reader can never trust for sure if a character is actually dead or has had some kind of metaphorical death and will pop back up in a few pages. Still, there's a lot here that's quite good, and the setting definitely lends itself to further tales.


Charles Gramlich said...

I just read a story that started with like fifteen pages of dialogue between characters. Once it got past that piece the story really soared but those first pages were fairly dull reading.

Ty said...

I've run across a similar approach before and usually it doesn't work, though I've seen a master or two pull it off. Ed McBain comes to mind.