Chuck Wendig is starting up the flash fiction challenges on Friday. Which, I’m way too excited about. These reviews when I have one will be going on Saturday’s. This one is only going up on Tuesday, because I don’t have a Flash Fiction. The reason I decided to do reviews is that fact I read really quickly, and I enjoy talking about books. These probably won’t follow as reviews necessarily as much as rambles about writing and books.
Nothing I like more than breaking down what I love about a book.
Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E Feist
Back in my teen years, many a moon ago, I wandered through the library. The title of this book intrigued me. I’d read the whole series and fell in love with epic fantasy. To start the book reviews, I thought it’d be fun to go back and read a book I hadn’t read in forever. I wanted to know if it would stand the test of time. Would I still love it? Was it really all that good?
And, interestingly enough I found it still be pretty amazing. The world feels ancient, mired in tradition, with an odd sort of honor. Everything isn’t exactly incomprehensible, but unusual. In a completely, awesome way. One of the things I love about science fiction and fantasy is it puts some place, somewhere, and someone outside of your experience.
The book raises a lot of interesting concepts. Is it immoral to do what you need to survive, to keep what you love alive? Would there be a better path? Even if there is no dishonor in your actions does that make it moral? Not all books have to be deep, dark, or raise questions covered in gray, but I love it when they do.
Feist also does a really good job at making you feel for Mara, even when she’s making some very questionable moral decisions. A young girl who was about to become a priestess cast into politics with no real hope and no real training. Her family’s forces decimated by betrayal, her brother and her father dead. Everything in her life completely altered changed forever. Punch to the gut, that is.
The book isn’t as perfect as it had been in my mind’s eye. I suspected that going in, but it holds up remarkably well. There is a slight hitch in the flow about the middle of the book. The slowed pace isn’t terrible, only could be better. And, the world feels complex, but it almost feels like you can’t quite dig into it. As if there is a wall between you and it. None of this ruins the book and all these are pretty minor gripes.
I do not regret picking up this book and giving it another go.