This Epic Fantasy novel
The book starts with too much description of the physical world, and too little of what else is happening. Though it is in first person perspective and therefore somewhat correct based on the character's experiences, it could have been dialed down for one and up for the other to make it a more engaging read. The story finds itself when the boy leaves Freetown and runs into Justen - a gray wizard. It builds power and Lerris' character starts to shine during his time in the town of Fenard. But after leaving to keep new friends out of danger and continue his journey of purpose it becomes rushed and loses some of its logic. His purpose is suddenly realized to find and confront a powerful chaos-master. Though his realization of this and several other things throughout the story just sort of happen. The perspective makes this seem especially jarring. Instead of taking advantage of a climatic realization, these points just pop into existence without offering any real satisfaction - or for that matter logic. This happens in particular when he realizes the identity of Justen and the exploits of his father.
I was also not a fan of the sound description of various events, such as horse neighing, thunder, shoes clinking, etc. I would have preferred a normal description of the sound, not a translation of the sound into text. Though more disappointing to me was the same strategy used for battles. Every battle I can recall was described very briefly, taking up only a couple lines. This took away from the tension, and just seemed a little strange. My assumption would be that the author was not comfortable writing a fighting scene and therefore used that method to avoid it. I was left wanting more at these points, to understand more about what Lerris was thinking and doing to fight them off in these tangible and intangible battles.
One of the highlights of the story is the whole chaos vs. order play, which though not entirely unique, is more substantially present in this story then most I've read before. There is some philosophy that is interesting and perceptive, though there are also some loose pieces that could have probably been chucked. All in all I wouldn't necessarily recommend the book, but it might be a start to something good - the series is quite long. When I've read the second I'll be able to better say. I'd compare it in quality to maybe just below Feist's early work which to me ranged up and down in quality throughout at least his first few books.
What are your thoughts, did you like the book? What is your favorite Modesitt novel/series?