1.0 out of 5 stars
Disappointing, Mar 10 2002
This was a disappointing read. The book was chosen for a book club reading by a group of friends, so I was looking forward to starting. After a so-so beginning, it steadily grew worse.
Llian, a Chronicler at the university in Chanthed, is at the top of his class despite being from the race of humans called Zain, which seem to be despised by everyone else. He discovers that the ancient story of the Forbidding may not have happened exactly as Chroniclers past have told it. He disregards warnings not to pursue the truth further, and is finally cast out.
The other major character, Karan, is compelled to help steal an ancient artifact from a powerful warlord (Yggur) by Maigraith, a person to whom she owes a favor. The two successfully break in and steal it, but only one gets out. Karan, who has absolutely no skills or experience in survival situations manages to elude the warlord?s nasty minions (the Whelm) and escape into the marshes. She and Llian eventually meet up and bungle their way through situations, chases, captures and escapes while bickering unconvincingly and acting like fools.
I do not know how Llian and Karan have managed to live as long as they have. They are inept and exasperating. The dialogue between them is stilted and phony. The other characters aren?t much better, either, although minor characters like Shand are fine. The so-called fearsome Whelm were pitiful in their attempts to capture Karan when she was alone, exhausted, severely injured and outnumbered. Nothing rang true. The author?s strongest point is with descriptions of places. Also when his characters tell a story, the flow is much less stilted.
Without spoiling the ending, I just want to mention that it disappointed me that it was just an obvious cliffhanger. Since I really don?t care what happens to these characters, I am not going to fall for it and buy the next volume.