Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Across the Face of the World by Russell Kirkpatrick

Across the Face of the World by Russell Kirkpatrick, Orbit, 2004

The cover testimony reads "Not since Tolkien have I been so awed", but I think the publishers made a typo. The testimony should read "Nothing like Tolkien. I'm so bored."

That's weird because Kirkpatrick does everything in his power to channel Tolkien.

From an eclectic party of heroes forced into a common, yet impossible goal to magic to a small but determined hero to a long journey, Across the Face of the World has all the elements of a Tolkien-esque tale but non of the intrigue.

It's poorly written. Half the time, I didn't know whose point of view the story was being told from.

It's inconsistent. According to the book, one of the villains is skillful and powerful enough to defeat an army, yet four of them somehow managed to be defeated by the gaggle of inexperienced heroes.

It's slow. Seriously, the book covers over a month of time and hundreds of miles of travel, but nothing happens.

It's woefully unoriginal. I understand that good fantasy novels have a lot in common, but this book is what you would get if you took the Bible, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and mashed them together with no method to your mashing.

At one point, I was upset because I thought the book was just good enough to make me want to read the other two to find out how the tale ends.

But by the end, I didn't care anymore.
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