Fat Fantasy

I formulated the 150 page rule as self-defense against fat fantasy novels. You know who I mean. I was pretty sure I was going to hate them, but lots of people love them. How bad could they be? So I tried to give them a chance, I really did. And my reactions were nearly as messy as shooting fish in a barrel.

Wizard’s First Rule, by Terry Goodkind
The first few chapters were so pastoral it was hard to tell where the fantasy was in the generic pseudo-medieval setting. It has some ideas that would be good, if only the writing weren’t so awful. The characters stand around and talk all the time. I was mildly interested in meeting the old wizard, since he obviously was going to turn out to be the Great Wizard Who Would Help the Hero Save the World. I think he turned up about page 100. Enough.

Keeper Martin’s Tale, by Robert Stanek
The writing was so clunky, that sometimes I laughed out loud. There were some promising characters and ideas, but when it came to the story, I had no clue about what was going on, let alone what Keeper Martin had to do with it. Whatever.

The Eye of the World, by Robert Jordan
Horrible, horrible, horrible. It’s a farrago of Tolkien tokens thrown into a generic quest without any regard for meaning. I gave it 160 pages, but it was so boring that I gave up after the villain revealed himself. And dreams don’t go on for seven coherent pages. And the writing was so bad it made my stomach hurt. I’d rather commit seppuku with a fork than touch this stinker again.