SEA DRAGON HEIR Hardcover – 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
As reviewers Angus Macdonald and bethohio have implied, elements in the plot to this tale lack a necessary cohesion and continuity, many events being explained or supported by exposition when necessary, the author often forced to tell rather than show the rationale for things occurring. There is underlying sense of action and events being staged to conform to the requirements of the moment, characters not always acting consistently, convenient circumstances placed in their way, and magical elements introduced and explained just when needed. Further, unlike some earlier reviewers, I found many of the characterizations kept bound to the surface of events, despite the author's attempts to provide complexity, perhaps weakened by their need to adhere to a plot that often seemed to roll along of its own volition, the character's thoughts and actions forced to conform.
There is a clear division, in terms of the quality of writing, between the first section devoted to Pharinet and the successive sections---ignoring for the moment the epilogue---in which Varencienne is introduced and takes over as the main protagonist.Read more ›
My main quarrel? The characters. Blarrgh. It looks to me like the plot (a fairly decent one) was constructed first, with all its lovely embellishments, sunlit corridors and dark, dusty corners. Then Storm decided at the last minute that she needed some unwitting little lifeforms scampering around down there, perfect little silly-putty creatures that would mold themselves conveniently into whatever contortions the plot demanded of them. Thus, we have characters that aren't fleshed out, and characterization that's inconsistent. Take Pharinet for example. She vacillates between petty maliciousness and indulgent self-loathing through the whole book -- switching when it's convenient for a plot twist.
Next we have the 'show-and-tell' problem. Storm rushes through events, leaving an inordinate amount of storyline up to the reader's imagination. For instance, we're TOLD Pharinet's twin brother Valraven was once a kind, loving soul (though it was never evident to me); a few pages later he's cold and aloof, and legendary for his cruelty on the battlefield, even though we never actually SEE him on any battlefield. Or look at Prince Bayard. One minute he's a nasty little brat who delights in making Valraven's life miserable. The next minute, they're lovers, and Valraven's going around calling him 'Bay!' Of course one or two lines are set aside to explain away Bayard's insults and jibes as a kind of courtship.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Two hundred years ago, Cassilin, king of fire and son of the great Magravandian house of Malagash conquered Caradore and its guardian family, the Palindrakes. Read morePublished on Nov. 22 2008 by Paul Weiss
After reading the trilogy set, I can go back to this first book and safely say that Sea Dragon Heir is my least favorite of the three. Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2003
The reason I didn't give this five stars is because it absolutely cannot be read as a book by itself. Read morePublished on June 1 2003 by Amazon Customer
The Magravandias series (starting with this book) is probably the easiest Storm book to get your hands on. Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2003 by Wendy C. Darling
I just finished the first book in the series and have to say it was less then I expected. The fetish with the so-called "erotica" was silly, incest to homosexuality to adultery, it... Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2003 by Scott Bond
This is the first book in The Magravandias Chronicles. I thought it was pretty cool. I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the author's other work but it was a very interesting... Read morePublished on Dec 16 2002
I enjoyed this book but it wasn't compelling enough to make me read the rest of the trilogy. The story feels somewhat contrived, as if the protagonists are doing things the author... Read morePublished on March 26 2002
Pharinet Palindrake and her twin brother Valraven are united by their desire to free the hidden powers of Caradore, their home, from the Magravandian Empire, as well as their... Read morePublished on Dec 5 2001
This is not one of Storm's best. In fact,this is a confusing mix of conventional fantasy and arcane sex politics, full of loose ends and uncompleted scenarios. Read morePublished on Sept. 27 2001 by Ventura Angelo