This book marks the second installment of Bakker’s The Prince of Nothing trilogy (which JD reviewed a while back). I’ll not repeat a plot summary this time around.
Let me start by saying that I’ve given this series a lot more tolerance than pretty much anything else I’ve ever read, at least in the last 4 or 5 years. The first book was just painful… Bakker’s got this world of his all planned out in his head, but he insists on having a zillion complicated, confusing and baffling names, places, languages and people thrown around all over the place. It’s not like he gives you a good way to remember it all either – I got to the point where when I read a proper noun I would just shorten it to 6 of the GodKnowsHowMany characters in a desperate bid to keep it in my head.
It was sworn up and down to me by Many that if you could just get over his crap naming problem, that the book was really good. So I spent 400 pages of the first book clawing my way reluctantly through… and sure enough, the last 150 pages or so went by smooth as silk and were absolutely engaging. He really does have some fantastic characters and a good story line – the idea of the Dunyain is about the coolest thing ever. You just kind of have to ignore a lot of the names and people and focus on the important bits. So after I finished the first book I took a break to read some candy and get myself reset from the arduous process of finishing book 1. But loathe to give myself too much time to forget, I started in on the second book a couple of weeks later, crossing my fingers that it would go by as smoothly as the end of the first.
So after I finished the first book I took a break to read some candy and get myself reset from the arduous process of finishing book 1. But loathe to give myself too much time to forget, I started in on the second book a couple of weeks later, crossing my fingers that it would go by as smoothly as the end of the first.
There was no point at which the book just “read itself” so to speak – I literally spent the entire time fighting to digest it. It’s really frustrating, because I’m very engaged by Bakker’s 5 or 6 main characters, but all the crap he’s got going on around it (especially the epic battles which he pretty much does the worst job EVER of depicting) ruins everything.
The bottom line? Only pick this one up if you’re very determined or very good at filtering out unnecessary information. I’m debating finishing off the third book because I really do want to know what happens to Akka, Khellus and Esminet… but the idea of having to drag my way word by word through another 600 pages is both frustrating and daunting. I’m a very disappointed girl.