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The Curse of Chalion

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    I ve finished The Curse of Chalion (at last) and as promised, I m reporting back. First off, my first impression of the novel holds. The first half of it IS
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 12, 2003
      I've finished The Curse of Chalion (at last) and as promised, I'm
      reporting back.

      First off, my first impression of the novel holds. The first half of it
      IS pretty dull. I would have enjoyed it more if all that had been
      compressed into a handful of chapters. Someone speculated that I might
      have found it dull because of the politics in it; actually I find
      politics stimulating. But not in the first half of this novel.

      Very little of importance or consequence happens until Dondo dies, when
      the story picks up considerably. After that, it is interesting. Not
      outstanding, in my opinion, but interesting. This is not the sort of
      novel I'd nominate for an award, and I certainly wouldn't vote for it
      for an award, either. I've read much better stories. But the second
      half, at least, held my attention.

      Nonetheless, I still intend to try the sequel, which sounded much more
      interesting than The Curse of Chalion when Bujold read from it at the
      Rivendell meeting.

      Joan
      ******************************************
      Joan Marie Verba
      verba001@...
      http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
    • David S Bratman
      Joan, that s pretty much how I felt about The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. I started to read volume 1 of that, and bogged down in sheer tedium after
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 13, 2003
        Joan, that's pretty much how I felt about "The Fionavar Tapestry" by Guy
        Gavriel Kay.

        I started to read volume 1 of that, and bogged down in sheer tedium after
        about a hundred pages. The descriptions of the books I got from most of
        their fans didn't leave any hope that it would get better, but one such
        person did tell me that she thought perhaps the first hundred pages were a
        little slow, but it got better after that.

        I'd heard such comments about other books I hadn't liked, but had never
        paid much attention. This time I decided to test it out. After all, LOTR
        changes character sharply after the opening chapters, and I could easily
        conceive of a reader liking one style but not the other.

        So I returned to "Fionavar," took a running leap through the first hundred
        pages (i.e. re-read them hastily, just to refresh my memory) and pressed on.

        Yes, it did get better. But it was still terrible, just not as terrible.

        So I quit again, and haven't read anything by Kay since.

        I've heard that his writing has improved since then. But by how much?

        - David Bratman


        At 07:42 PM 4/12/2003 -0500, Joan wrote:
        >I've finished The Curse of Chalion (at last) and as promised, I'm
        >reporting back.
        >
        >First off, my first impression of the novel holds. The first half of it
        >IS pretty dull. I would have enjoyed it more if all that had been
        >compressed into a handful of chapters. Someone speculated that I might
        >have found it dull because of the politics in it; actually I find
        >politics stimulating. But not in the first half of this novel.
        >
        >Very little of importance or consequence happens until Dondo dies, when
        >the story picks up considerably. After that, it is interesting. Not
        >outstanding, in my opinion, but interesting. This is not the sort of
        >novel I'd nominate for an award, and I certainly wouldn't vote for it
        >for an award, either. I've read much better stories. But the second
        >half, at least, held my attention.
        >
        >Nonetheless, I still intend to try the sequel, which sounded much more
        >interesting than The Curse of Chalion when Bujold read from it at the
        >Rivendell meeting.
      • Joan Marie Verba
        ... I appreciate the advice. I haven t read The Fionavar Tapestry by Kay, but if I ever do, and it s boring for the first 100 pages, I ll leave it there. Joan
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 13, 2003
          David S Bratman wrote:
          >
          > Joan, that's pretty much how I felt about "The Fionavar Tapestry" by Guy
          > Gavriel Kay.

          > Yes, it did get better. But it was still terrible, just not as terrible.

          I appreciate the advice. I haven't read The Fionavar Tapestry by Kay,
          but if I ever do, and it's boring for the first 100 pages, I'll leave it
          there.

          Joan
          ******************************************
          Joan Marie Verba
          verba001@...
          http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
        • Joshua Kronengold
          ... He s still sloppy, though IMO, the Sarentine stuff is a lot -less- sloppy than a lot of his intermediate work. And he s doing a decent worldbuilding job
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 14, 2003
            David S Bratman writes:
            >I've heard that his writing has improved since then. But by how much?

            He's still sloppy, though IMO, the Sarentine stuff is a lot -less-
            sloppy than a lot of his intermediate work. And he's doing a decent
            worldbuilding job now rather than throwing in any old thing and
            calling it fantasy. And his plotting and characters have improved a
            great deal (but that's not what people love the Fionavar tapestry
            for).

            Mostly...his post-Fionavar work has been much more of a piece than any
            of it is with the Fionavar stuff...and has been getting better as
            things went, but isn't really comperable with Fionavar -- either in
            terms of characters, theme, or worldbuilding, for the most part.

            --
            Joshua Kronengold (mneme@...) "I've been teaching |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
            --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
            /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
            /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--' (_/-'
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