"Tell me a story."
–Jenn Lyons - The ruin of kings - c.2019
A Chorus of Dragons ; book 1
Tor, who publish this book, have been pimping it big-style for quite a while. Since October last they’ve been releasing a couple of chapters on their site for all to read along with commentary by Leigh Butler.
Now call me contrary, but the more hype I see a book or film get the more likely I am to be turned off of it. Unless it is something I’ve already invested in. So the more coverage this book got the more I thought I wouldn’t read it. But then I spotted it with the new books in the library and I figured that it was now or never.
It tells the story of Kihrin, a thief and bard’s apprentice who gets involved in adventures and magic and possibly the end of the world by demon. Only it turns out he isn’t simply a thief, and his family is not who he thought they were1
Kihrin starts off the book towards the end of his story, in the custody of a mimic, who is an immortal being who can turn into whoever they want and feeds off the brains of their victims, also they have the ability to read minds. The mimic tells Kihrin that he has to tell his tale and it will be recorded by a magic stone, but he doesn’t start where they think he should, so the mimic takes a turn and we get alternating chapters. One from Kihrin, one from Talon the mimic about Kihrin’s earlier life. And all of this with footnotes by another character who has prepared a report about the events.
To be honest I found it overlong and the switch in narrators/times only added confusion to my reading. I know that the intent was probably to reveal truths and backstory gradually, highlight inconsistencies and show misunderstandings etc., I was just frustrated by it. I also found that far too many characters were revealed to be somebody else, either magically disguised or pretending to be somebody else, or whatever… That was also frustrating to me.
And yet I liked parts, it felt very readable, which is lucky because it is a big big book. A proper fantasy door-stop of a novel. But too long.
I don’t think I’ll read on in the series, book 2 is due October 2019 if you are interested, but I just never really got sucked in by this novel. I would read more by the author because I did like other aspects of her writing style but not for a while.
this isnt really a spoiler as it is all revealed pretty early on ↩