After reading the glowing reviews on this page, I'm honestly wondering whether I actually read the same novel as the people who poured out all those glowing five-star tributes. The book that I read was among the sorriest, most pathetic pieces of garbage ever written. "In Legend Born" is not a good book. It is not even a competent book. It's an exercise in overdone clichés, weak characters, and plain, old-fashioned stupidity.
Our first character is Mirabar, a young female outcast who's capable of communicating with the dead, who inhabit yet another irritatingly ambiguous spirirt world. She receives a prophecy about a brave warrior who's going to arrive and liberate the people of Sileria from their oppressors, the Valdani. Next we are introduced to Tashen, a brave warrior who's just arrived to liberate the people of Sileria from the Valdani. In case you're too brain-dead to figure out that Tashen is the person who Mirabar saw in her vision, Resnick is very careful to spell it out again and again for the next two-hundred pages or so before she 'reveals' the big 'secret'. Anyway, Tashen hooks up with an angry peasant named Josarian (the name choice may be a reference to "Catch-22"), they raise an army and join forces with some friendly wizards and start to pummel the crap out of the Valdani. And I do mean pummel. The good guys win every single battle in the entire book with ease, regardless of the circumstances. We're expected to believe that a band of peasants with zero fighting experience would have no trouble slaughtering an entire army of trained soldiers. It's at times like this that you really wish that fantasy authors could be bothered to do a little bit of research before they begin writing. In real life, it takes years of training before you can learn how to use a sword or a bow properly. Resnick's vision of fighting is so off-base that at one point she even has a warrior single-handedly kill off seventeen guards (!) at one time while barely being touched. Some people may like the cheesy Hollywood vision of swordfighting; I prefer authors who at least attempt to put a little realism into it.
But as bad as the fight sequences are, they're unquestionably more enjoyable than the rest of the book. Resnick provides the villainous Valdani with a long laundry list of sins: murder, genocide, torture, slavery, rape, high taxes, and religious persecution, to name a few, and she carefully eliminates any traces of any redeeming characteristics from all of them. The problem, of course, is that good villains need both good and bad traits so that we can watch a slower and more believable descent into evil. Authors who go so completely overboard in vilifying their bad-guy characters usually just end up embarrassing themselves. In addition, she goes to great lengths to emphasize the fact that every single Valdani is as dumb as a brick, leaving us to wonder how they came to control a gigantic empire when clearly not even one of them is smart enough to control their own sock drawer. As you can probably guess, all of the heroes turn out to be paragons of virtue, and largely devoid of any real personality. Oh, Resnick tries to make them interesting, but she just can't do it. For instance, Josarian was supposedly driven into recklessness by the recent death of his wife. In practice, the author completely forgets about the wife for most of the book, and then she suddenly pops up to drive him "insane with longing" at seemingly random points. The author's attempts to add humor by means of Josarian's horny cousin Zimran are best left unmentioned, and her romance scenes ... Oh, dear God! Better to not write any at all than to write ones this bad.
I could go on griping about the overall stupidity of this book, but I think that you get the point by now. The important question is, is it worth reading? Is it entertaining? The answer is no. "In Lengend Born" in dreary and dull, includes tons of filler material, and the final hundred pages aren't a conclusion as much as an advertisement for the next volume. While I'll admit that there are a very few interesting plot intrigues and a couple of fairly touching scenes, they don't justify the book's gigantic length (730 pages), and as with Robert Jordan and all his other clones, Resnick's big blocks of dialogue should have edited, preferably with a blowtorch. Apparently there are some people who are eagerly anticipating the appearance of a sequel. Personally, I'll wait patiently for the next works by George R. R. Martin or Robin Hobb, and do my best to banish all memories of this particularly monumental mistake.