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The Castings Trilogy (2010)

by Pamela Freeman(Favorite Author)
4.03 of 5 Votes: 3
0316102857 (ISBN13: 9780316102858)
review 1: A really good read (no pun intended)! A well-built world and a very rich mythos, with a variety of interesting characters. It is written in the manner of The Song of Fire and Ice series, with each chapter being told from the POV of a different characters. It's also similar in the theme of a struggle between smaller dominions, but this book has more magic - but NOT Harry Potter silly magic. This magic is more ingrained into the world itself, and into the culture. The other book it reminded me of was "The Name of the Wind", in the style of the magic and in some of the places and their cultures. While this is a trilogy, it is in name only - the 3 books do mot stand alone at all. But this is not a complaint!! I love a good long rad that keeps my interest and surprises me in ... moreplaces. There were only a few times when I knew what was coming - most of the time I was continually surprised by the events. Very inventive and original! This is definitely the kind of fantasy I prefer - it's more of the same old tropes of elves, wizards, dragons, etc. Like the works referenced above, this world seemed real and the characters were very believable! I highly recommend it!
review 2: My somewhat tacky summation of the Castings Trilogy is, "What if religions were real?" You have to say it in a kind of breathless, awe-struck tone of voice to get the full effect.Because it does seem to differ from many epic fantasy books by having most of the magic come specifically through a source deity. There's a logic to how supernatural creatures work that seems far more spiritual than most I've encountered. At times there's a real threat to the characters when they leave the safety of settled lands, because the world is full of things that want to kill them quite maliciously.To elaborate on my sexy hook of an opener, it's a world where religion and spirituality work the way a child or an idiot might expect them to work. You pray hard enough and if the god of your choosing thinks you're awesome enough and your request resonable enough, it's gonna happen.If things worked that way in our religious wars past and present would have been terrifying. You'd have battle priests and war preachers praying until smitings and plagues struck each other. The faithful would actually be the biggest cultural badasses.Beyond that, it's a generally entertaining read. It avoids the major thing that will bring me to a full-stop on any epic fantasy book, purple prose. If I get even a hint of ren-fest dialogue within the first few pages, I am done and I will not return. Outside of the high courts of old and the theatre, no one sincerely talked like that then or now. If you're creating a world from scratch, there's no reason your characters should sound like they're in a high school rendition of Hamlet.While it was entertaining, it took me much longer to finish than an equivalently bulky book like the Game of Thrones books. This mostly came from the lack of consistent agency from the central characters. They're generally pushed by external voices, with a far-off goal to be completed in a different part of the country, normally a vaguely defined directive that will make sense later. The strong desires of a protagonist give a lot of thrust to a book.In my creative writing class our teacher had the audacity to say that multiple character viewpoints in a novel often make for weaker fiction. A lot of people in the classroom became outright scandalized, but when I thought about it, I saw his point. The Castings Trilogy blatantly abuses this with a series of vignettes that add anywhere from a lot of background to not a damn thing of interest. I admit to skipping a couple. The book is long enough.When you spread out your action across too many view points, you let a lot of dead space into each narrative arc, where you can forget details or lose interest in their motivations. It also allows for the grass is greener effect, where you're wondering what your favorite character is doing while you're reading your least favorite character (come on, who hasn't asked, "I wonder when they're going to get back to Tyrion?" while reading the Song of Ice and Fire books?) and muddling through to the better parts. But still, solid writing and an interesting setting can get me past a lot of structural gripes. Is it a good thing or a bad thing that I'm relieved to be done? less
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It's started off slow but then drew you in and kept you interested!
this book did a lot of jumping around and was very disjointed
Loved this book!!
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