Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Warded Man, I feel as If I've fallen for it again.

So, after reading and reading how great this book was.. ( I know ).. I decided to buy it.. and I'm about 10 pages in and am already getting the sneaking suspicion I'm not going to like it.

This despite the fact that it's got a cover blurb by Terry Brooks.. an Author I generally like.. because he writes books that are just about in my comfort zone..

I generally stay away from any books which have "new" author cover blurbs.. In other words I tend to trust people like R.A. Salvatore, Terry Brooks, Raymond Feist, Tad Williams and Glen Cook's blurbs. I generally figure.. they all write books that I more or less like so this book should be similar.. Its not always the case but is a pretty good indicator. But a "New" Author, such as Patrick Rothfuss.. I have a difficult time caring if he likes a book or not because I don't know anything about his (1) book. And because of his brevity in the field, I don't really associate him with the Fantasy Genre the same way as some of those others.

This behaviour in itself is strange since I know that these blurbs are not endorsements by these authors but are just cynical marketing.. but It obviously works as I fall for it every time. The problem is, some part of my brain actually then feels betrayed by these other authors when I don't like the book that I've just spent money on.

Back to the Warded Man though, I don't think I can put my finger on it exactly what it is about it I don't like. Thats leading me to worry that it might not be the books problem, but my problem. If some how I'm allowing my inherent distrust of all new authors override my ability to actually enjoy new authors. In other words, one new author pissed me off, therefore all new authors are crap, so they piss me off and then it just grows from there.

I've expressed before that I have difficulty pinning down exactly what it is I don't like about new Fantasy releases, Its rarely that I find the authors are poor authors.. usually more to do with the chosen subject matter. In discussing these 10 pages to a friend I made the comment that by 10 pages in the obvious main character should already be talking to the obvious main magical helper before beginning to set out on the quest. Then I realized how silly that sounded. Thats a trope, not a guarantee. But some how or another, whether from reading too many fantasy novels from the period which falls roughly between The Sword of the Shananra (1977) and The Eye of the World (1990) I've come to equate Good Fantasy with books that follow through with those tropes.

Maybe I just really really liked "The Lord of the Rings" and want to keep reading the Lord of the rings, but not re-reading the Lord of the Rings as that would be a tad eccentric to just re-read the one book 100 times in a year. Maybe thats the reason so many people are drawn to the really really long epic fantasies, it delays you having to find another group of characters (or Caricatures depending on whos writing it) to become invested in.

Maybe I'm yet again over thinking it and I'm simply the fantasy novel equivalent of the little old man shouting at those darned kids to get off his lawn.


Reviews Of Unusual Size! said...

I have often wondered whether the blub-ers really read the novels anymore. I like to think that they do, but some of them seem to be so far off base it's hard to believe.

Wickedmurph said...

I didn't like the Warded Man because it tried to do gritty and realistic and didn't do it very well. It was supposed to be dark and horrifying and just came off as sort of bland. It's one of my least-favorite books of the last year or two.

But that might not be a good indicator, as I like Joe Abercrombie and enjoyed The Steel Remains just fine.