Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades was a pleasant page turner, that kept me hooked from page one. Staveley is a good wordsmith–not the best, but he has better command of the English language than most writers of fantasy fiction. I learned half a dozen new words reading his prose, but he still writes in a fluid style that makes the novel enjoyable to read.
Staveley’s magic system is decently original, but it isn’t the emotional heart of the book. Staveley doesn’t make the reader feel the emotions of the magic users nor delve into their sensations when using magic, which is unusual for fantasy writers. Continue reading
George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is widely hailed by fans of fantasy fiction and its fame has been greatly enhanced when it was dramatized by HBO in the TV series Game of Thrones. It is reported to be the most pirated show on the internet and has won legions of avid fans.
Martin is a splendid wordsmith, whose skillful dialogs have an earthy feel that brings the characters to life and fleshes out the character of the protagonists. The writing is skillful and Martin delights in archaic meanings of words like “tine” (a fork), “tot” (a small cup) and “cog” (a type of ship) that have fallen out of usage in order to cast a medieval feel.