Friday, April 30, 2010

The Ten Thousand by Paul Kearney

It's been a while since I posted a review here, largely because I've been re-reading old favorites instead of trying new things--and that in turn was because I had hit a streak of trash.

That streak has ended, because Paul Kearney has put something memorable on the shelf. He has in fact created a veritable Thing here, which merits the capital letter and all that it implies.

The Ten Thousand is a military fantasy novel that, unlike most such, never accidentally trips on the military part. Inside you'll find many battles, yes, and vivid descriptions of warriors' lives: the camaraderie is palpable, the characters are well realized and the world-building is top notch. But the epic climactic battle actually takes place in the middle, not at the end--which reinforces the fact that the book isn't all about the fighting. Wow.

I found one stretch--maybe pages 75 to 150--where the pacing was a little slow. And I found the ending a little unsatisfying, until I realized the author was probably just setting up the sequel--which is fine by me.

B&N link

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