Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publication Year: 2012
Read: April, 2013
Magical Epic or Epic Fail: Epic Fail 1/2* (0.5 star)
The Quick and Dirty:
Unenjoyable enough to need Cicero's help in reviewing. Wants to be Game of Thrones, succeeds in sucking.
The Wordy Version:
When, publishers, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? Do you imagine that we have never met people who act with logic? Or do you willfully flood the market with paltry imitations of human behavior so that we shall no longer be able to recognize shadow from form?
This novel has a score of characters who, time and time again when given information, refuse to interpret what they have heard. It is impossible to believe that an impoverished kingdom, paying a 75% tax on wine exports, does not recognize that their tax rate is partially to blame for their poverty. The income tax in Sweden may be close to 60% today, but the Swedish government uses its income to provide its taxpayers with social services. The chief of Paelsia does not give his people anything but a vague hint that he can use magic (a claim none of the characters take seriously) to better their lives. Yet Jonas, the most intelligent of the teenage main characters, doesn’t begin to think of the possibility that his taxes are being mishandled until the end of the book. This is senseless; Jonas—in almost any other story—would be considered stupid.