Thursday, June 24, 2010
Ok, let me go back a bit and explain. I am confident you are sitting and wondering to yourself " How did he get to read this book a week before it's release date?" Thanks to a good friend of mine, Phil from Broken Forge and the Warbanner I was able to get my hands on a preview copy of this novel. Then I ended up on a long flight to the UK for work so had plenty of time to read it due to my inability to sleep on a plane.
Now let me return to my previous comment, wow! This is a great book for several readers of Black Library books. Those casual BL readers will like Gav's writing style and the flow of the story once the book progresses to action. Gav's battle descriptions are fantastic and visceral, letting the reader feel the taste of blood in the air of the battles.
Then there will be those readers like me who are fans of that elusive 40K backstory for the Eldar. For those of us who are Eldar fans this book provides the voyeuristic glimpse of the Craftworld Eldar lives we have been craving! Fiinally we get to see and experience the full meaning of the Eldar Paths and how they shape and impact an Eldars life. Any of you who are not Eldar fans may not understand how cool that is.
I felt the main character in the book, Korlandril, is very well developed. We see him grow along the Path from the Path of the Artist through what can only be called a breakdown and onto the Path of the Warrior. We get a brief glance at how an Eldar chooses one of the Aspects of the Warrior Path as he chooses to become a Striking Scorpion. We even get to experience the warrior path and gain some understanding about Exarchs and the Phoenix Lords.
So this will not be a gushing post of praise alone. I will admit disappointment in a couple areas of the book. There are two characters introduced early in the story, Thirianna and Aradryan, who are not developed well. We get shown these characters as counterpoint to our hero, along with their having key roles in Korlandril's development. They are not well developed, not enough to really care for them. I suspect these will be the primary characters in the next two books, which may explain this decision. The other criticism I have is one of grandiosity. There is a scene near the end where three Phoenix Lords arrive in the story. Come on Gav...... 3 Phoenix Lords? While the event in the story at that point are moment us there is no real explanation why 3 are required. Then only 1 really plays a role in the story. While I understand and appreciate Karandras's role in the story, the others were not needed.
So for anyone even slightly interested in the Eldar, this book is a must read.
For the general BL reader, this is a clear 4 out of 5.