Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Review: The Circle of Law

The Circle of Law owes much to Judeo-Christian tolerance with a nod to eastern philosophies as the basis for its laws. At least no one spoke like Yoda. Law is a well-written tale with splashes of situational humor as the Ancients attempt to restore order to Cadeven and end the current realm, which has helped to devastate the land after the Ancients broke up years ago over internal squabbling. It is a quick and easy read, but there are a significant number of characters vying for space on the page that might be too much to keep straight for casual readers in such a short book. The power of the Ancients seemed to ebb and flow without much sense to me despite all the explanations.

For my tastes, the action lagged a bit. Despite a sad and disturbing opening (kudos), the story tension drifted for the first third of the book. The characters seemed to get almost everything they needed without much effort. Insufficient characterizations were common. I thought Marki was about 10 in the opening. Then, 4-6 months into the story, I find out she is really seventeen and attracting two suitors. The concept of time and distance was very loose. Some journeys seemed to take a couple of days. Later, they seemed to take weeks. (The king just seemed to happen by while everyone else struggled to get up Mt. Orr.) Just how long was a gestation period? Your pregnant. Boom, here's your baby. These issues disrupted my absorption into the story.

I wish the author would have dug deeper into the conflicted characters. At the 77% mark in the story, there is a very poignant point about outliving a loved one and how difficult it is to be in love knowing one partner is going to die early in life (kudos). I wish there had been more passages like this, digging beneath the surface. Issues aside, Law is a pleasant read. Those who enjoy this genre will like the redemptive aspects of the story along with the imaginative world in which the characters live. But for me, it was a little better than an average tale. It is a top-shelf "3".

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