Sunday, 1 August 2010

Falconfar By Ed Greenwood

February 2010, Solaris Books
384 pages, hardback
Review copy

YA/Adult Fantasy

Cushions: 4 (but only towards the end)
Daggers: 5 (throughout - a bloodbath on every page - well it felt like it)
Paperclips: 1
Smiles: 2 (they are bits to raise a smile though)
Gerry's recommended rating: ♥♥♥

Summary from Solaris Books

With the evil wizards Malraun and Narmarkoun seemingly defeated and Malraun’s tower falling about his ears, Rod Everlar, the science-fiction writer drawn into a world of his own creation, now faces his greatest challenge. As Falconfar descends into war, Rod must find the power and the knowledge to fight the first Archwizard, the most feared of the Dooms: Lorontar.

I would like to establish a couple of facts before continuing.... (1) This is the first Ed Greenwood I have read and was unaware of his creation of the 'Forgotten Realms' that gave birth to the modern legend that is 'Dungeons and Dragons' and (2) I am a prude. Right, let's continue. Falconfar is book 3 in the saga and opens with a 'Story so far' which tries to tell you who is who, who did what and to who and why they did what they did - and it reads very badly so I skipped it. The book starts in a fight/chase scene and the tone of the book is such that we never to seem to stop to catch breath, in fact thinking back I can only recollect 1 point in the book where our hero gets some shut-eye, unlike all the other characters who seem to get their 8 hours regularly. Because of the start to the book I would recommend reading books 1 and 2 first.

Because it is written by Ed Greenwood I suspect that some passages, that I found badly written, were let through where a lesser author would have had the editor calling for changes. These bits 'grated' on me I'm afraid.

If you have read this far you will have the impression of a fast moving story - not so for me. Each aspect of the story started with a great deal of detail so when we cut to a part of the chase scene not much happened before we moved on. It remained that way for much of the book but picked up towards the end.

The prude bit? Well sex in books is common place but the nature of the sex, while not explicit, did leave me uncomfortable.

On the whole I enjoyed it and I am sure there are many Ed Greenwood fans out there who will enjoy it too. The ending was a bit fairy taleish which I found disappointing after the nature of the book so this will appeal to fantasy readers who like a happy ending. Most books try to tie off all the loose ends towards the end and this is particularly in the last of a saga but it was the nature of the tidying up that I found disappointing. I am afraid that I would not choose another Ed Greenwood for a fantasy novel although many people will enjoy this.

Alternative reading to this would be the shortly to be released Firebrand by Gillian Philip

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