Just an avid reader. Mostly SF/Fantasy, some hobbies, paranormal, urban fantasy and lighter, fluffier things.
This reader's personal opinion, ©2012, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers*
For 90% of the thing, Paks was Paks and my enjoyment of story had its ups and downs. Ups with the story progressing, Paks finally on way to serving Gird, learning more of Paladins and various races; downs with one too many mysterious underground choose-your-door things, companions often untrustworthy, and way too many encounters with godlike beings, good and bad, with blurry to outright loss of memory.
Then a cliffhanger ending with Paks no longer the character whose story I was reading a somewhat formula (but well written) fantasy to follow. And, what was up with all the blonde talk and how hair-up meant soldier and down meant frail female or potential rape victim?
Well, not exactly a complete story arc in my opinion; and, really 3-stars rounded up because a lot of edge-of-seat, kept me reading moments. The cliffhanger ending made me drop a star.
Lots of unnecessary to story wandering around blindly scenes made for choppy reading. I get that travel on foot and on horse takes time but don't need too many chapters of it. I get that Paks being clueless private or trainee stumbling about is a part of the story and realistic.
But I think I'm an age group that doesn't take well to rehashing all the D&D quests things like enter a blind underground corridor, find the traps, find the treasures, the right skill level in self or companions, choose right corridor or door or passage with zero clues, just blindly floundering around (*ack* all those beginning programming classes with text versions of the enter a passage/room/cave and choose left/right east/west then the first pcs with video screens and limited graphics where you programmed the same); a ton of similar fantasy quest books with troop of characters and choose correct door ...
I'm sure personal prejudices about the plot device made me rate this one between lower while the first one I rated so highly even acknowledging it had some fairly standard fantasy elements. All those endless passages, quests, doors, entrances...all endlessly bored me to death when they were new much less in this story.
Yup, even once good video graphics were added to pc's, well, I was one to kill characters off on purpose just to end games like Kings Quest if social scene or weird corporate team building exercises got me stuck playing. Some of the people into the questy games like D&D got so intense was hard to take; worse than today's addicted Farmville or World of Warcraft players so I am sure it's a type of plot I am burnt out on, did not expect for this series, and may not be an issue for other readers.
|10/22||9.0%||"Estimating progress 'cause reading the three-book omnibus edition. Paks now on a trail with elf (knew dwarves and elves would eventually feature more in story, LOL)"|
|10/22||15.0%||"The underground passage—which the door to treasure and which to evil creatures...really a good book and series despite the de rigeur fantasy elements."|
|10/22||21.0%||"The mountain underpass....of course there are orcs. I quite needed a good old fashioned epic fantasy to get out of my reading slmp."|
|10/22||36.0%||"And now hunting brigands for a village with a Gird Marshall"|
|10/22||50.0%||"Gnomes and more underground lair with Indiana-Jones-ish traps to avoid. Paks is still enjoyable."|
|10/22||50.0%||"Oddly no mention of seeking fabled Luap place the book blurb mentions. Still cleaning out brigands, rescuing folks, and no sign of paladin stuff."|
|10/22||60.0%||"And now off to Gird Marshall's HQ and more formal trainng so mayb eheaded into the paladin stuff. One small mention of Luap as someone close to Gird so maybe headed more towards book blurb."|
|10/22||78.0%||"Paks now in paladin training. Dwarves now added. In a good way reminding me of heralds training in Valdemar books. Did take a while to get there though. Don't think I should have read reviews yet which hint at cliffhanger ending coming up."|
|10/22||81.0%||"And this far in the first mention of Luap's stronghold in the west that book blurb made sound like main plot/quest of this book."|
|10/22||96.0%||"And possibly Luap's stronghold. (And likely I'm not calculating percent finished in this kindle omnibus version; actually 62% thru omnibus and definitely still in second book)"|
|10/22||97.0%||"So, now calculate 102% thru book...oh well, it's a good story and not done yet."|
Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:
★★★★★ = All Time Favorite
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Meh. Okay.
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked but kept me reading in hopes would get better.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking. (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." Or author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)