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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Good Times, Complicated Plot (Flem's Review)

I thought all three of these books were great.

I am easy to entertain but I have to say I was surprised at every turn in these books.

The Thief
Things I liked:

-EXCELLENT plot complete with twists and turns
-Total lack of predictability
-Gen and his cleverness, plus his surprise good-with-a-sword-ness
-Weird religions in different places
-Political relationship/natural resources of each of the the regions
-Cave scene
-The era
-Limited romance
-Family dynamics of the Eddis peeps

Things I would change:
-I thought Gen was a girl at first. How often is first person a man? Or maybe I just don't read those books. So then when they were fighting with "him" to throw him in the tub, I realized it was a boy after all and I was kind of disappointed. Gen should have been a girl.
-Implications that Gen and Eddis had feelings for each other and then it was not real. BOO. They should have gotten together later (see info under Queenie)
-Very confusing writing style. I should have gone back to read but I was so into what was happening next that I just kept going instead of clarifying so in the end I am still kind of confused. Should have been more clearly written.

Things I liked:
-Queens/Kings carry the name of their country. That is very cool.
-Weirdo Mid-Eastern types
-Female character that people thought could be manipulated by good-looking Mid-Eastern types but who really was playing everyone all along (Anatolia)
-Gen turning out to be super valuable as a thief (globally recognized as major asset of Eddis)
-More intrigue and crazy plot twists and turns. Again, utterly unpredictable.
-Playing up the idea of men loving so unconditionally that a woman could chop off his arm and he would still want to give up his whole life for her. The romantic in me thinks it could be true.
-Magus again.

Things I would change:
-Gen's arm should have been restored by the gods. I can't believe we had to sit through all that suffering all for naught.
-No way Anatolia could have ever married him. If she loved him she would feel such intense guilt. He might be all lovey etc. but any real woman who is worth loving couldn't have done it. If she really loved him no way she would have cut off his arm.
-If he was soooo valuable, how come it wasn't noted in the first book? Like why didn't anyone automatically notice that if Gen could steal from the Magus he could be Eddis' thief? Did anyone even mention that thing about all thieves being named after Eugeniwhatever?
-Weirdo Mid-Eastern should have had bigger role, like her seriously considering him more to make that whole attack thing more exciting.
-Gen whining should have been 1/8 of what it was. He lost desireability as a man. This is not a modern novel, it is set in a time of chivalry.
-Eddis and Gen. Eddis should have shown up and said to Anatolia "no way you marry the man I love you extremity stealer!" Who cares about whatshisname missing since book 1. Why is the author trying to hold on to that guy with Eddis when we haven't heard hide nor hair since the first book? This isn't a movie where the actor is pregnant or sick or breaching contract so we have to pretend like he is missing, you can totally bring him up again in the book.

Things I liked:
-Clever little story with the Musketeer. He was honorable and it played nicely.
-Assassination and Gen playing up/down the injury and Musketeer realizing that people who pretend like they are not hurt are really just not that tough.
-Private moments with Anatolia and feeling like they really loved each other periodically. Cute.
-Pretending to be an idiota when he was really a clever little man
-The fighting scene in which everyone realizes he is talented with the sword.
-The cleverness with the grain story running in the background

Things I would change:
-He played the fool waaaay too long. We should have reaped the benefit of all his work for at least half the book. Finding out ten seconds before the end what he was seeing out the window was just sad and we didn't get to enjoy his victory near enough.
-Still confused about the farming implications. Wish I owned the books to go back and read them.
-Eddis and Gen. It is a hard sell that suddenly Anatolia is all amazing and everyone loves her.
-The musketeer should have been strategically picked out for his grain knowledge. I don't like that he was a tool for the king to gain the main military guy's confidence. Seems like poor Cos was used. Young Costus was the REAL heartthrob of the story.


GREAT read. I would recommend them and look forward to reading them again.

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