Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

OOC: Two Reviews: Ignifer's War and Rise of the Dragons.

/Ignifer's War/ by Michael John Grist. [Disclaimer: I did an extensive and vicious critique of ▶ Ignifer's Rise, which preceded this book.]
So, the world has been eaten by the Rot, with no actual survivors, except for some sort of simulacrum of the hero Sen, in a barren white room outside of time. The situation isn't *quite* hopeless, though. Sen can travel around in the past — though each trip costs him a large part of his soul, and he can't really change the past very much. But he does sort of get to try again to save the world from the Rot. The path to the re-battle is full of surprises and subtleties.
Both Ignifer books are full of exotic species, pungent characters, a deep and lapidiary history, but this is the book where we get to see and understand them.
Well worth reading. (And it's well worth reading the first book, too, especially after Grist did a major revision on it.)  Five generals ripped from ancient history out of five.

/Rise of the Dragons/ by Morgan Rice. One-sixth Game of Thrones. One-sixth Hunger Games. Four-sixths adolescent power fantasy.
Which doesn't *require* it to be bad. Game of Thrones and Hunger Games are well worth reading, and I'd be glad to read either one again under a different name, by a different author, with the serial numbers slightly filed off — if it were well written. Which /Rise of the Dragons/ totally isn't.
So we got The Flames, which keep the trolls out, and have to be guarded constantly by a sacred brotherhood and a constant stream of recruits, but the recruits are mostly criminals except for a protagonist.
So we got Kyra, 15-year-old princess of a conquered kingdom, who is a perfect archer. /Perfect/. Despite never having shot at a moving target.
So we got the king of the trolls, who wants to get through The Flames and kill all the humans "just for the fun of it". And kills some humans and some of his own people so we know that he's evil.
So we got some human characters. Some of them are good and some are evil. The good ones are the ones who devote themselves to fighting. Kyra wants to be a warrior, and most people tell her "No can do you are girl", and totally ignore the fact she's the greatest archer possible, and staff-fighter too, and kills a soldier across a clearing by throwing a broken stick at him(!). You can tell the evils are evil because they're braggarts and bullies and rapists and don't let Kyra do what she wants.
So we got the Empire, which conquered half the (human?) world, and basically exists by having massive power and crushing any hint of rebellion. And can proclaim laws like "All unmarried 15 year old girls must be presented to the district governor for his enjoyment". It's name even echoes "Panem" from the Hunger Games.
Then Kyra psychically bonds with a dragon. Oh, and she's secretly a ... well, they won't tell her what, only her uncle by The Flames can do that, even though they all know what she is.

And really, all of this /could/ be done well, and /has/ been done well in recent fiction. But you're better off rereading /Game of Thrones/ and /Hunger Games/ for the hundredth time than wasting time on /Rise of the Dragons/.

One dire-ish wolf companion pet out of five.
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