Wizardborn by David Farland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I like the hints of new directions going on in this one. The different kinds of wizards, in particular. I can do without the walnuts, but the whole learning-depth about reavers, about fire, and about water seems very promising.
Oh! And let's not forget about our fair observers who are so preoccupied with time! :)
I say this is a promising series. Epic in the sense that it is epic fantasy, yes, and not as grandiose as some, but much bigger in a few ways than most. Many, many shadow worlds? I likey. Worlds out of kilter? You bet! Ravening hoards pouring out of the earth, destroying whole cities overnight? Yep!
Most interestingly is the magic system in general. The attribute-based one. Metabolism additions make people live faster. They die faster, too, but the whole world slows down around them while they become super fast to everyone else. Giving that to horses is very funny... horses who run as fast as cars on a highway. :) The whole thing is pretty awesome as long as I don't think about the one little snag. (That's a pretty huge snag.)
Anyone who gives an attribute like Wit or Stamina or Metabolism then LOSES all but a tiny tiny portion. That means there need to be gigantic institutions set up for idiots, the energy-less, and the peeps who sleep for 20 years. Each addition comes with a subtraction, and most of those are severely glossed over in these books. Because if the givers die, the person currently enjoying 2 times normal strength will lose that addition. If the person has a thousand additions, that means there has to be a welfare state of a thousand taking care of the victims or the recipient will lose it all. If there's an army with an average of 20 or so additions per warrior and a hundred per captain and thousands in the army, then there ought to be a vast ocean of idiots and weaklings and sleepers left at home. Who is taking care of them? WHO???
Okay. So let's ignore that and enjoy the fantasy for what it is.
It's fun! Comfortable! It stretches some interesting boundaries in fantasy! It makes me interested in the rules and how to break them! I want to break them! Or at least write some stories about the seedy underside of patient management. :)
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