Friday, September 15, 2006

A Good Book off of Lulu

I ordered Kristan Alaric Korns' The Banished City based on a review in the comments section of Miss Snark's Blog, and I must say that I'm not disappointed. I don't think this is the best fantasy I've ever read, but I do think it's well above average.

There are a few points that annoy me. For instance Noro, the main character, has stolen a magical thingamajig that lets him appear as another person. Several years after the theft he runs into a minion of the wizard he stole the thing from, stares at the guy for a minute, and mumbles some lame excuse as to why he was staring when he's caught. Then he's surprised that he isn't recognized. He seems to think that since the bad guys should know he can change his appearance, anybody who stares at the wizard's minions must be immediately recognized as a disguised thief. This makes no sense.

There are a few other minor confusing and annoying bits, like his speech--even though he's disguised as an elderly wizard, he talks like the young street punk he is and nobody notices--but still I like this book. The idea of having gods play a prominent role in the story is good, especially since these gods aren't anywhere near omnipotent--though the god called The Tree is clearly a version of our God.

The character of Noro is very interesting, and his exploits are exciting, though I can't help but think it would have been better if the first chapter (telling the story of how he stole the magical whatsis) would have been told later as a flashback. , because the main focus of the book is what happens to him five years later when he goes on a quest to find the Banished City and release the god (and unbeknownst to him the people) that are imprisoned there. There are several hints that these people and there god might not be good people, but it's never made clear whether or not they are.

There is obviously going to be a sequel to this book, and I'll almost certainly read it when it comes out. Hopefully, the sequel will tie up a few of the lose ends in this book. I give The Banished City four yo-yos.

Four yo-yos

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