21 April 2017

[Book Review] 'Fables from India', 'Memories of Ice' and 'Name of the Wind'

Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen #3)

TL/DR: If you have read fantasy before and you liked it, drop everything and read this series. Warning: these are big books and they suck time. Well worth it.

My review of Book 1 in the series, Gardens of the Moon, is available here. What should I add except that the series seems to get impossibly better with each book? The book revolves around the rise of the mysterious Pannion Domin and the several forces (literally multiple armies) that align against it. We get to know more about why some characters are what they are, and the author keeps that as interesting as any showdown this book has. The writing is quite good - not as great as some fantasy legends - but the plot(s), character development and how everything comes together - leagues ahead of anything else I've read.

Wars, Magic, Sentiment, Dragons, Humour, Honour (Itkovian! Onos Toolan!) ... this series is everything done right.

Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles #1)

TL/DR: I liked the book & the writing for the most part. I liked the world building, the sections at Kvothe's Inn, the sections at the University and the last 50 pages or so. Rest of the book was unfortunately boring.

I'd like to think I didn't like the book as much simply because of my high expectations from Rothfuss, thanks to every friend who reads fantasy quoting this as a favourite. Finally got around to reading it. The first 100 pages aren't terribly interesting (aka boring) because the author takes his time introducing readers to Kvothe, his world, his parents, his education etc. I see why he decided to do this - the guy's kind of a know it all - so the author wants to convey how he learned every damn thing so that the story's believable later on. But to someone reading without that context, it comes across as a bit boring.

Denna, the woman behind the story - or so we're told - is another person who sucks pages and pages without really telling us anything. Yes, I got it in the first two times that she's difficult to track, but it's repeated once every 10 pages.

Events surrounding the Waystone Inn, where the protagonist conveys his life's story to the Chronicler, are fun. Events at the University are even better. The last 50 pages or so are quite cool too. It's worth a read ( & I will read Book 2 soon), but if you don't like to skip paragraphs and pages, get ready for a fairly tedious ride to get to the good bits.

Fables from India - Uday Mane

TL/DR: Not fun for adults who already read other books. Fully in text. So may not be interesting to kids either. The stories themselves are well intentioned even if entirely predictable.

I got this book from Flipkart in exchange for an honest review. Here goes.

I like the general idea of new fables and was intrigued when I got the option to review the book, but was left disappointed with the quality of work that helped put this together. The author has come up with fairly decent stories - a straight up attempt to go the Tinkle / ACK route, but in plain text. This could have been better off as an illustrated version targeted at children. The stories, if you look at them from that point of view (that of children), don't disappoint. The book may not be interesting to adults.

List of things that could have done with some help: Writing, grammar and general structuring of the fables. All of which I lay at the feet of the editor rather than the author.