The Night of the Swarm
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“Robert Redick is an extraordinary talent.”—Karen Miller, bestselling author of The Innocent Mage
“Robert V. S. Redick has developed into one of the most exciting young voices in fantasy today.”—Fantasy Book Critic
“[Redick] pulls off epic fantasy with a great deal of style, giving his readers everything they want along with a big bag of surprises.”—Starburst Magazine
“The Night of the Swarm is a nail-biting, non-stop action adventure that would thrill any fantasy novel reader!”—Tome Tender
“I raced through The Night of the Swarm. There is a ton of action, but also plenty of interaction between the many characters. There are new challenges as well as old problems to be dealt with. Not everything gets tidied up perfectly, which I feel is a strength, since that’s how life is.”—Books You Can Die in the Middle of --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Robert V. S. Redick is the author of The Chathrand Voyage series: The Red Wolf Conspiracy, one of SFX magazine’s top ten science fiction and fantasy releases of 2008; The Ruling Sea, Fantasy Book Critic’s number two fantasy of 2009; and The River of Shadows, a Locus Recommended Read in 2011. A former international development researcher, Redick worked most recently for the antipoverty organization Oxfam. He lives in western Massachusetts. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
On October 8th, Gollancz, decided to cancel the hardcover edition of this book. They may still have it listed on their website but both Amazon UK and the Book Depository have confirmed that this book is now only available in the trade paper back edition. The author has confirmed this, [...], on his own website and the publisher has stated it on twitter at [...]. A lot of the problem has been that libraries are not buy as many hardcover books and that is where the bulk of hardcover editions are sold to.
On his website, Robert Redick, has asked fans who want a hardcover editon to email him so he can get numbers to take back to either Gollancz or another one to convince them that there is enough interest in getting a hardcover edition made. I was fortunate to be able to talk to Robert at World Fantasy this year and he was very disappointed that this happened.
I have tried to find a way to inform Amazon about this change but they don't seem to have an easy way to contact them about these type of mistakes on their site. If you have ordered this edition you will need to cancel your order and order either the UK edition or the US Del Rey edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There are a LOT of characters in this series, most of which are developed characters that really become a part of the story. However, there are so many that I found it very difficult to remember who everyone was or why they were important (there was quite a gap between the release of this book and the previous one). Redick must have predicted this because there is actually a compendium of characters in the back of this book. More notably, in Night of the Swarm, I even had a bit of difficulty keeping the new characters in this book straight, especially amongst the Selk race. Overall, I liked having such a varied cast of characters, but I think these books would have benefited from a slightly more narrow focus: a few less plot lines, a few less characters.
The standout setting of this series (the ancient and gigantic tallship Chathrand) has always been what made these books unique to me. Otherwise it would just be another magical adventure through exotic lands (albeit a well written one with interesting characters). So, I was disappointed to find so little of the plot taking place at sea. A large portion of the story surrounding the main protagonists plays out on land; not that this section of the book was dull, but it was too familiar, and I found myself wishing they would return to the ship sooner rather than later (they didn't).
And then the ending (I won't spoil it)...Redick seems to have no sense of justice for his characters. I have no problem with a bittersweet ending, but there is very little sweet and whole lot of bitter. I'm not sure if he's trying to leave the series open for future work, or if he's making a point about relationships, one that I won't reveal so I don't spoil anything, but it's one that I don't agree with. Whatever his reasoning, I found very little closure in the ending, little justice, little mercy, and a few situations that I didn't feel were fully resolved. Disappointing, to say the least.
That being said, the whole series has been a page turner for me, including Night of the Swarm. And although this final book wasn't quite structured to my liking, it did hold my interest. I'm not sure I could recommend Night of the Swarm on its own merit, but I could recommend the Chathrand quartet as a whole, with a disclaimer that the series is stronger for the first half than the last.
Two words of caution, and also of disagreement with some of the other reviews... (1) These are meaty books, so don't expect to have a Riordan-esque tromp from plot point to plot point. Yes, there are technical descriptions of some sailing issues, and lots of world history, but I've read Moby Dick, and nothing else will come close to the technical details in that. I found the Chathrand info to be readable and interesting. (2) I thought the ending was really brilliant, and I loved that not every subplot got wrapped up in the same 10 pages. There was a great climax, a nice coda, and a very fresh way to keep the epilogue plausible. It wasn't just a literary montage of what happened to each character, which I appreciated. Rather, it was more like how things happen in real life. You know, some friends drift apart, others do well and get together, and still others plot fiendish revenge on the free world. It's just life.
This is a superbly crafted story, in an incredibly detailed world, filled with real characters with a plot that carries you with it from beginning to end. Loved, loved, loved it.
The world of Alifros is fully developed with great care and craftsmanship. There are races, countries and creatures that all have their own deep and detailed history, culture, and traditions, of which we only get to see the surface. This gives the books authenticity, like the author is from Alifros and has somehow managed to move into ours. Alifros, its peoples and creatures, is one of the more important characters. The author's blood, sweat, and tears in capturing, creating, realizing, and crafting this world are on every page.
The characters get the same dedication. Each is unique, with distinct personalities, emotions, and lives. Again, they are authentic and real. What happens to them, happened to me. I quickly fell in love with the heroes, and was emotionally invested in their entire journey. They feel like friends and I miss them. The effects of their journey still emotionally resonate with me.
Even though the series is comprised of four not-short books, the plot was never slow. It was paced very well, and it was hard to put the books down. The plot, too, is authentic and real. I think this is partially because the characters were so well crafted that I cared about them, and wanted to know what was going to happen to them next. There aren't any plot holes or continuity problems. Events progress orderly, naturally, logically, and sensibly.
This series is more exciting and inventive than the best HBO show - and that's a tremendous achievement!