Friday, March 24, 2006

Book 22 - The Claw of the Conciliator

Disappointed.  I was rather impressed with Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer and looked forward to the next volume in his Book of the New Sun.  I had the typical moments of trying to figure out where exactly Wolfe had left off and who a couple of characters were, but I settled in fairly well.  So I start reading and working my way through the book and I’m confused.  What’s going on here.  There was a little bit of this in book 1, but in The Claw of the Conciliator it seemed like Severain wasn’t even trying to get to where he was going.  Our torturer was just floating along on the wind sort of moving in a northerly direction but perfectly happy to do something else that he didn’t believe in, either. 


My biggest problem is that I couldn’t see how any of what happened in the nearly 300 pages had any impact on the overall plot of storyline that might be building.  It felt like an entire book of filler material and the ending was filler. I’m quite sure that some important things happened, but I just couldn’t say what they were and why they couldn’t be compressed to 50 pages.  I’ll read The Sword of the Lictor, but my anticipation is much less than it was before this book.  Just disappointing. 


Nick said...

Ah, that's too bad. The Knight was... I think the word is 'enthralling,' very much because of Wolfe's way of writing. I'll get the sequel to that one instead of the New Sun books, then.

Also finished the sixth book in Erikson's Malazan series. You really have to start reading that series. Highly recommended.

(Strangest thing is that the fifth book, Midnight Tides, works independently from the other books in the series, so you could read just that book and leave the series alone, basically. If I reread the series I'd probably read them in the order of 1, 2, 3, 5, 4 and 6. There are certain events in book 4 - House of Chains - that make no sense until you've read the fifth book. Hell, some things still don't seem to make sense after the sixth book, even if a lot of things have been explained, and do make a kind of sense. There are still bad things with the series, but there are so many good, amazing and awesome things that make up for it. Right now I'm ranking the series slightly behind Martin's and Hobb's. But the gap is closing between them.)

Joe said...

I've read the first two Malazan novels. Was quite impressed with the first one, didn't love the second though it was a superior piece of writing. After I clear off some of the stuff I have piling at home I'll be tackling Book 3. Good stuff, there.

America only has 4 of the volumes out. My library has House of Chains in the "purchasing" category, so I slapped a hold on that one, too.

Nick said...

His writing has been improving steadily. But even if this sixth book (The Bonehunters) was great, the third one delivers the biggest punch. Some of the stuff there is still pretty hard to shake off.