Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Elder Gods

I finished David and Leigh Eddings' The Elder Gods this week. I thoroughly enjoyed my return to Eddings writing. As I commented in my World-building post, reading Eddings again reminded me of the difference between average authors and masters, and Eddings definitely falls on the master side.

There was a calm fluidity to the entire novel, which served me well, because I tended to read it in fits and bits, two minutes here, five there, and I still had no problem picking the story back up and getting back into it for those few minutes. (Unlike William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, which I just started—his novel is definitely going to require concentrated blocks of time. Not that this is a bad thing, either.)

I love Eddings' characters. They're familiar, their pattern almost predetermined by gender and social status (if you've read earlier Eddings works, you'll recognize the same traits of those men and women in The Elder Gods' hero and heroines), but they're fun people nonetheless.

The one thing that I found bothersome was the fact that Eddings almost never let the characters sum up anything off-page. Events just read about in real time were rehashed by characters in paragraphs of dialog rather than simply say something like, "Zelana quickly brought her brother up to speed about their battle plans." I understand that in real life, people tend to have to do a lot of repeating of information to do things like compile and army and set battle plans, but once the reader hears it once, the simpler sentence would have served the needs of the reader just fine.

Nevertheless, I look forward to returning to the adventures of Eddings' characters in The Treasured One, the next novel in the series.

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