Monday, July 16, 2018

Book: In the House of Five Dragons by Erica Lundquist

In the House of Five DragonsIn the House of Five Dragons by Erica Lindquist

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first quarter of this book absolutely crawled for me, and I considered more than once just giving up. In the end I'm glad I didn't.

This is more fantasy than scifi in case that's important to you.

Things I loved:
the twin worlds concept, and the fact that what is matter of fact in one world is magic in the other; the understated romance over the last three-quarters of the book; character growth for multiple characters; a couple of twists I wasn't expecting; the way the girl learned to understand what Rikard was saying, and used that knowledge to help him appear less "mad" during public appearances; who the Crest turned out to be; the odd mishmash of modern and medieval sensibilities; Rikard's journey to make his society honorable again, the way nothing was easy for Rikard, especially when I expected it to be; the action sequences.

Things I didn't love:
the first quarter of the book; the weird ways names changed depending on whether one was talking about a place, a nation, or a person from that nation; the ending (not that it was a bad ending, just that I wanted a bit more about the main characters and how their lives had changed rather than about the son) - I understood it was written that way to create a bookend feeling with the opening, but though it was a perfectly good sequence, it didn't tell me what I wanted to know about how the part of the story I cared about ended; the unveiling of the Crest's identity; that we only got to know two characters from Alterra.

When I read some of the stuff in the last few pages of the book, it became clearer to me why the first quarter of the book was so boring to me: it was setting up a roleplaying universe. For some people all that information would be fascinating. For me, it was as boring as D&D is in person. Yes. I'd rather play solitaire in the dark with actual cards.

And on a personal note, I was predisposed to dislike the son, named Gaius, because that character on BSG is far from my favorite. James Callis is a superb actor, and it's a testament to his acting that I dislike Gaius Baltar so thoroughly. Some names are just ruined forever, though. lol

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