What I Read in June

June was a slow month, both because I finished a few books just at the end of May and because I spent a lot of time reading really long Wheel of Time books. I did manage to finish one non-WoT book in the month, though, so it gets a small entry.

Lord of Chaos

Robert Jordan

Reread post forthcoming.

The New World

Michael Stackpole

I read the first two volumes of this trilogy when they were brand new, but due to lack of funds I passed on the final volume. Now I went back to finish the series, but my memories of the first two have faded somewhat since I read them five or so years ago. Still, most of the frustrations and strengths came back to me as I read this.

Stackpole must be credited for creating a genuinely interesting world. In the world of this series, if one does something with enough skill and training it can become magic (more or less). Magic in any cases comes from an intense focus and can greatly affect the surrounding world. There is less a focus on the usual medieval time period of fantasy, instead taking place in something more akin to the times of Columbus, with characters off discovering and mapping new continents.

The writing, in this volume at least, is somewhat mechanical. It gets the job done, but there is little personality in the writing. There are also some plot oddities that didn’t agree with me. It seems too neat at times. The paths that some of the characters must walk seemed arbitrary to me, though that might have had something to do with my vague memories of parts one and two.

It is a good enough conclusion to a highly original series that differentiates itself from the fantasy standards, but not always in good ways. The New World is a flawed, sometimes clunky epic that delivers action and invention on a scale greater than most.

Crown of Swords

Robert Jordan

Reread post forthcoming.

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