Sunday, August 21, 2011

REVIEW: The Order of the Scales by Stephen Deas

Firstly, I don't think I am a fan of books that continue to flippantly kill off the protagonists. It seems that by the end of every novel by Deas, all the characters who told part of the story end up being killed. But not in any kind of satisfying way ... in The Order of the Scales, one of the protagonists from the beginning of the series managed to die without even having the honour of it actually being communicated to the reader. We pretty much find out when some other character happens across his body. In one way it's kind of interesting, because it's genuine and realistic, but then again it also sends everything that has been invested in that character straight down the gurgler.

tOotS (Toots, haha!) really is a fast and ruthless read. I decided that I wanted the series to be much longer and fleshed out. There is so much potential for parts of the story that were left untold to be written and I don't think it would be to the detriment of the novel. For instance, all of Jehal's past including the demise of his family, Jaslyn's relationship with Silence, the PoV from Zafir and Valmeyan ... all were kind of missing from this book. On the other hand, I did appreciated the maturity of this approach, not spelling everything out for the reader.

The ending was a little dissatisfying, especially since I was under the impression that this was a trilogy. The Black Mausoleum which is the next novel was kind of branded as a sequel rather than a continuance of the same set. Nothing was really resolved, a few key characters were killed and then it just ended, with some serious foreshadowing.

Keeping track of the names of the Kings and Queens was a little hard as it has been a while since I read the previous two books, especially in the absence of the lineage chart from this book ... and I'm the kind of person who likes to know all the names, how they're related and what kingdom they're from!

All in all, very happy with the story ... quite rich and complex but still fast moving at the same time and a good balance of action and character development.

In a moment of weakness I bought The Wise Man's Fear which I have to say is one of the more beautiful books I have purchased. Next read ... The Shelters of Stone, mostly because I feel obligated to finish it. Really want to get onto The Name of the Wind but I am aware of the upcoming releases by Christopher Paolini and Isobelle Carmody for which I will need to reread both series ... and I will be hard pressed to resist reading them immediately as they are both the long awaited conclusions of the series!

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