Awards Again and More Reviews (11/5/2010)

With King of the Crags out, I’ve not been paying much attention to The Adamantine Palace, but I suppose I should be, what with it being on the Gemmell Award shortlist for best debut of 2009. I’ve seen comments ranging from ‘going to get my vote’ to ’shouldn’t even have been nominated in the first place,’ and I don’t think I really mind either way. Reading so many different reviews for one single book, ranging from what’s in SFX to what’s on Amazon or posted up at Goodreads, I appreaciate more than ever how everyone has their own opinions and how different they can be. So if you’re one of those who liked The Adamantine Palace, please vote for it at the Gemmell Award website. If you’re not, please go and vote anyway. It’s like with the government – no point about bitching about who wins if you don’t vote.

While we’re at it, here’s a rather nice review from over at SF Crows Nest.

“I like it when you get a book that you find yourself completely immersed in. You find yourself almost besotted. You open it up, read the first chapter and bang, real life is boring, irrelevant and petty. This is the world now and be it filled with good or evil, it’s a bloody improvement on hearing about the Iraq war, footballers sex lives and the constant unending threat of annihilation through global warming.

That’s how I felt when I opened up The Adamantine Palace.”

Good, that’s what was suppoed to happen. Exactly that. Plot plot plot and never mind the characters… oh, wait.

“The Adamantine Palace’ is a no holds barred look into how awful characters can be. They are evil. They are sordid. They are completely self-centred. All of them. That’s what makes this book.”

“With a marvellous sweeping prose, a twisting plot and a lead character that is both venomous and awesome, this novel screams out for attention it rightly deserves. It’s a novel that clearly acknowledges its debt to the dragon sub-genre but is so strongly plotted through its characterisation that it pushes itself up into the realms of high political fantasy to threaten the likes of George R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan.”

Now some people have read The Adamantine Palace and hated it, I guess. Maybe for exactly the reasons this reviewer loved it so much. But it’s still a real kick to read a review like this and know that there’s someone else who read my words and got out of it exactly what I was trying to put into it.

It’s not all roses though…

“a quick, fun political thriller on the same level as a Hollywood blockbuster or modern video game that uses dragons cleverly enough to feel somewhat original. The chapters are short, the pace fast, and the page-count moderate for epic fantasy. But ultimately, it remains unremarkable, in spite of my attempts at the opposite.” from Neth Space


“If Christopher Paolini decided to go on a meth-fueled writing bender he probably still wouldn’t come close to writing his dragons so devilishly.”

Oh, wait, not that bit… this bit

“…short, tight chapters that push the story along in a Thriller type fashion. However, the pushing is at a sacrifice to the characters and the world-building.” from the Mad Hatter

Ah well. I bet the first reviewer will now be slightly disappointed by King of the Crags, while the others will praise its deeper world-building and characterisation.

The Order of the Scales is now with my first reader. I think I can promise a return to the furious pace of the first book, at least in the second half.  Otherwise I’m currently rewriting The Warlock’s Shadow and contemplating what comes next… about which I shall say a little more next week.

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