Author Topic: Kirkus  (Read 2029 times)

EUOL

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Kirkus
« on: April 25, 2005, 07:10:06 PM »
This one's not good enough that I'm going to go around posting it unedited in most places, but I thought you all might like to see what they had to say about the book:



"Debut author Sanderson serves up an epic fantasy novel that is (startlingly) not Volume One of a Neverending Sequence.

Ten years ago, the magical city of Elantris fell under a curse, and the land of Arelon it once ruled has hit hard times. The mysterious transformation known as the shaod, which falls on Arelenes at random and used to turn them into spell-wielding Elantrians, now leaves its victims half-dead husks, exiled to live in the ruined city. Even Prince Raoden, transformed overnight, finds himself imprisoned with the others, but he's soon rallying the downtrodden and seeking out the source of the curse. Meanwhile, his betrothed, Princess Sarene of Teod (Sanderson's got a tin ear for names), sets about modernizing the backward Arelish court, and thwarting the schemes of the spy-priest Hrathen of Fjorden, who plots to convert Arelon to the harsh Derethi faith. Sanderson offers an unusually well-conceived system of magic, but he cuts his characters from very simple cloth: only the Derethi agent Hrathen develops any intriguing depth or complexity. Still, the pages turn agreeably, the story has some grip and it's a tremendous relief to have fruition in a single volume. (Not that sequels won't be coming.)

"A cut above the same-old, but hardly a classic."
« Last Edit: April 25, 2005, 07:10:43 PM by EUOL »
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2005, 08:25:58 PM »
Boo! Tin ear? Gaah... (Okay...umm...how DO you pronounce "Sarene" anyway? I always said it as two syllables, like "serene" but with more of a schwa for the first...)

Well...it's a review, I guess... Plus your magic was complimented, which is something you must like...
« Last Edit: April 25, 2005, 08:29:00 PM by OoklaTheMok »
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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2005, 09:08:56 AM »
yeah, weak review! but all press is good press, I suppose.

Spriggan

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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2005, 09:26:38 AM »
maybe it's my layman status with the English language but I didn't even get the Tin Ear thing the first few times I read it, I though Ookla was trying to be funny since I didn't notice it at first in the review.
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stacer

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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2005, 09:56:23 AM »
Well, it's not like Kirkus counts as much as some of the others anyway. At least, they're very controversial right now because they charge for reviews. I've heard that they are actually being tougher on books they review because they don't want to be accused of doing better reviews because they're charging for them. Either way, I think their opinion is tainted. Publisher's Weekly and genre publications are the ones to trust.
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EUOL

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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2005, 06:31:13 PM »
I actually agree with the criticism in this review.  Or, at least, can see where it came from.  

I intentionally wrote this book with two very stable characters, and one serious growth character.  There were several reasons for this--the primary one being that Sarene and Raoden just felt right the way they were.  I also didn't want to make them 'flawed' heroes simply to force more of that into the book.  Plus, I felt that Hrathen's internal conflicts were distinct enough that doing others would overshadow him.

However, the fact remains that two of the three characters might be considered 'uninteresting' if what you look for is deep emotional turmoil.  

As for the naming issue, a lot of the words in Elantris are difficult to pronounce because of the linguistic pattern I was using for the novel.  Without a pronunciation guide--which Tor resisted including--I can see how someone might think the names don't sound right.

Either way, Moshe said to be wary of Kirkus even before we got reviews back.  His opinion was that they're entirely too fond of snide remarks, rather than making serious criticisms.  I can see a little of that here.  I think a more professional reviewer would have said "I don't care for the names Sanderson has devised" as opposed to making a wise crack.
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Skar

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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2005, 06:38:39 PM »
A lukewarm review.  Thank Heavens!  I was afraid all the good stuff would be used up before the thing hit the shelves.   But now you know you've got at least SOME good karma left for actual sales.  Phew!
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2005, 06:45:58 PM »
While Raoden and Sarene may not have character growth (well...I dunno, I think they have a bit) and aren't internally-conflicted people like Hrathen is, there are far more than 3 characters in the book. The supporting characters are some of the more interesting people, and ignoring them because they're not the 3 main characters is a mistake. A large point is how the supporting characters are affected by the main characters...Raoden and Sarene may not change themselves much, but they change people around them drastically.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2005, 06:46:51 PM by OoklaTheMok »
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2005, 08:08:05 PM »
I think that's a really good point, Ookla. Plus, there's got to be a nice balance between internal conflict and external conflict. Raoden and Sarene have enough going on externally, and they do change at least a little.
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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2005, 04:01:38 PM »
Hey, would Tor allow you to put a pronunciation guide on the website? I for one would love to know how Aon is supposed to be pronounced.
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stacer

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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2005, 04:28:24 PM »
I pronounce it the way you pronounce the Aon Insurance Company (they had a building called the Aon Building in Chicago that a friend worked at). Which is long A, and the word "on." Am I right?
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Re: Kirkus
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2005, 03:15:14 AM »
Quote
Hey, would Tor allow you to put a pronunciation guide on the website? I for one would love to know how Aon is supposed to be pronounced.


I'm quite certain they wound't care if he put that on his site, I'm actualy working on a glossary system.
Screw it, I'm buying crayons and paper. I can imagineer my own adventures! Wheeee!

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