09 April 2013

Her dresses are worth more than her strength

Fantasy | Elizabeth Haydon | Destiny 

As someone mentioned online, no wonder people prefer writing fantasy to hard science fiction. A few horses, some random magic, a demon to vanquish, and dresses like a millionaire's wedding confection. That's all you need to generate terrific sales. No wondering if the planet you posit would develop with the atmosphere you need for the critters you invented for the story to move. Ha.

The first thing I noticed about the book was the contorted pose of the heroine on the cover. Bent head, bust stuck out, butt stuck out, and no feet. She is also holding—delicately--a long and heavy sword, at one end, cantilevered out ridiculously. Try standing like that in real life, and you may find the ground is closer than you thought, as well as a lot harder and sooner than you expected, and the sword, while dropping, would take off a knuckle or two. The only people who can hold huge swords in two fingers are the video game characters in Final Fantasy. Oh, wait, this is a fantasy, too.

This book is part of a series, the last in the row. Rhapsody, a Namer, has tied up with Achmed, an assassin who is now a king, and the Sergeant (who gets only a few bit parts in this book). She is also in love with Ashe, or is his name Gwydion? The evil F'dor is finally bested by our heroes in this book. Assorted magic weilders suddenly and for no good reason decide they want Rhapsody as their Queen, so she gets a lot of gowns that take several pages to describe. Characters with exotic and relentless power succumb to her charm, or her Naming, or something else. Anyway, the reader who identifies with Rhapsody will be much reassured to be told, several times in the book, that she is way powerful, and the most beautiful woman in the world. Powerful men love her to bits.

Damn. That's all I remember. There were some nice fantasy scenes in between, but this is what sticks. Why do I read these books? Because they don't mind if I switch off my brain before I start? Not good enough reason, my dear...

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