Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

The Sundering: Banewreaker and Godslayer, by Jacqueline Carey

Second sentence of third chapter of Banewreaker:

It was a deeper green than the beeches Tanaros had known as a boy, the leaves broader, fanning to capture and hold the cloud-filtered sunlight. The trunks of the trees were gnarled in a way they weren't elsewhere, twisted around ragged boles as they grew, like spear-gutted warriors straining to stand upright.

Second sentence of third chapter of Godslayer:

All of them had been plagued by strange visions in the night.

I've generally been a huge fan of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel books, and picked up Godslayer at a convention ages ago; and then on advice got Banewreaker to read first. They are really a very different kettle of fish. Written between the first and second Kushiel trilogies, these two books take the standard fantasy quest narrative and try to tell it from the point of view of the evil side not really being all that bad. It's a worthy attempt, and I kept reading, spotting different bits and pieces taken from Tolkien and other writers and slightly reinvented, but it didn't really grab me.

In particular, the names of some of the characters are so wrong that it's very distracting. One key figure is called Malthus, and I kept expecting him to start preaching on the problems of overpopulation; another is called Carfax, and unfortunately that name makes me think of traffic jams in Oxford before anything else. It's a real shame; Carey's ear for names in the Kushiel books seems to have been rather good, but here that talent deserted her.

When I got Banewreaker, it bumped Selected Stories by Alice Munro off the top spot in my list of unread books by women, so the latter now returns to the head of that list. Godslayer was at the top of my list of unread books bought in 2010, and is followed by Galileo's Dream, by Kim Stanley Robinson.
Tags: bookblog 2016, writer: jacqueline carey
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