Wednesday, July 20, 2005

An Exciting Story, Slightly Marred

After Finishing off Harry Potter, I resumed reading Wizard of the Grove by Tanya huff. This is an omnibus edition containing Child of the Grove and The Last Wizard. These books tell the story of Crystal, last of the wizards. She—yes, despite conventions about wizards’ sex, Crystal is female—is created to destroy Kraydak, an evil wizard who had been the last of his race before Crystal was born. After she completes her mission, she sets forth to try to mend the damage done by her wicked predecessors.

While this is a good story, it does have some flaws. The first part would be much better off without the first six or seven chapters, as these tell the story of the creation of Crystal, but lend very little to the overall story, and violate the old writer’s maxim of starting as close to the action as possible. Also, I found the ending of the second part to be a bit on the confusing side (I won’t say exactly what happened as I like to avoid spoilers).

Overall, the book was interesting. The characters were very interesting, especially Crystal, who, despite her bizarre parentage (part human, part dryad, part divine), was a very human character. Also, the Lord Death has to be one of my favorite fictional versions of the Grim Reaper (It ranks right up there with Geiman’s and Pratchett’s). The actual story, once you get past the unneeded opening chapters, is gripping. The writing style is excellent.

While I do consider the story itself to be excellent, the extra six chapters are a major flaw in my opinion. Still, this book is above average. I’ll give it 3.5 yo-yos.

Coming soon, Howl's Moving Castle.

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