Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sub-Par Fantasy

I wasn’t too terribly impressed by Dennis McCarty’s Flight To Thlassa Mey. It’s not actually a bad book, but I would hardly call it good either. All in all, I’d have to rate it as sub-par.

Flight To Thlassa Mey is about an escape. Princess Berengeria and her servant Aelia are being held prisoner by the evil Lothar the Pale. The knight Ursid, Lothars nephew, helps them escape from the palace. They hire Sir Palamon, a fallen knight turned bouncer, to aid them in their escape. Soon, they are pursued by Lothar’s men and the servants of the mad wizard Alyubol.

The book is actually well plotted, and the pacing is done well enough to maintain interest throughout the story. The main characters are very human, and I did think that they were pretty fleshed out.

Unfortunately other parts of the book aren’t so good. The villains are pretty two-dimensional. The major “surprise” plot twist at the end of the book is so predictable that I figured it out almost as soon as we learn that there is a mystery about Palamon’s birth. And the dialogue is just plain terrible.

I hate it when authors have their characters constantly talking in a sort of pseudo-medieval dialogue. This author uses more of a pseudo-Shakespearean, but it’s still pretty damn annoying. Here are few random examples:

I wind into my knitting gossip’s threads. I head those whom few others stop to hear, committing into memory’s counterpane all things that pass into my weaver’s grasp.

Infirmities of age will soon become your friends and boon companions, more so every year. Well could I tell you that much, even if I were no sage.

Do not converse where strangers may appear. The privacy of this small chamber shall be yours, for it is I who shall go forth.

Now imagine a whole book filled with that sort of thing. Ugghh!

Because of the annoying language, cruddy villains, and idiotic plot twist, I can only give Flight To Thlassa Mey 2.5 yo-yos. Up next will probably be Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood's End.