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Author Topic: The Godless World trilogy  (Read 6067 times)
Vince
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« on: June 12, 2008, 08:23:36 AM »

Picked up the first 2 books - Winterbirth and Bloodheir - last week.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/product-description/0316068063

From a review:

In a land very much like medieval Scotland, the Thanes of the South battle against the Thanes of the Black Road (a religious schism) for domination of the land and spiritual salvation. ...
...
There are a number of characters whose journeys are followed as the plot progresses; Orisian one of the not-so-direct heirs of a kingdom; Gryvan, the King of Kings, ultimate king; and Aeglyss, a half-breed with mystical powers of persuasion and charisma.  With a novel of such epic scope, Ruckley does follow more characters but these stood out the most for me.  Orisian and his shieldman (bodyguard) seem to be the only survivors of an attack on their family during the Winterbirth celebration.  Through their journey, Ruckley is able to reveal and convey the harsh landscape of the “Godless World,” of the story.

The character who worked the best for me was na’kyrm Aeglyss.  His combination of dark intentions and charisma reminded me somewhat of R. Scott Bakker’s enigmatic Anusûrimbor Kellhus.  Both characters have, at the outset, mysterious backgrounds and a power over men with their words.  Though it will take a lot for Aeglyss to match the heights of Kellhus’s character (no small feat for any character), Ruckley has planted the seeds of something very intriguing with him.
...
Ruckley’s world is a harsh unforgiving place and he shows no compromise to the reader’s sensibilities by illustrating just exactly what this means to the inhabitants. No one is safe in a place where even the simple act of living through tumultuous times can have long lasting consequences. I particularly liked the air of ambiguity that Ruckley gives his characters, they all have good reasons for doing what they do and believe that they are right. Faced with such certainty on all sides, the reader really has to think about what side they will support (if any) and this makes me really look forward to the next book...
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 08:31:10 AM by Vince » Logged
Tuomas
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2008, 04:51:42 PM »

I read the first one when it came out. Liked the setting (especially the Black Road), the overall wintery atmosphere and the character of Aeglyss. However, the pacing is too slow, the "good guys" are unremarkable, and I never really got the feeling that there's anything special about the book. I'm going to pick up the second one because I'm interested in finding out how Aeglyss' personality develops.

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Vince
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2008, 04:52:28 PM »

Finished the second book. It's great. If the third book is on par with the second, that would be one of my favourite series. And you are mistaken, Tuomas. It's not a series focused on a couple of characters. It's a series focused on factions. You have this conflict slowly growing into a huge war, yet both sides are focused more on acting against different factions within each side, weakening each other, and preventing other factions from making any decisive moves. Brilliant stuff.

Neither side is good. Neither side deserves to win. Human flaws are well developed in the characters and explain perfectly why everything is so fucked up. Even poorly thought through good intentions lead to making the situation much worse.

I recommend these books without any reservations. It's loaded with choices & consequences. The powerful Shadowhand (a title of the king's advisor) agreeing to bring down some minor kingpin in exchange for an elegant political assassination and being almost killed as a result, which in turn get him captured by the enemy forces was superbly "designed", for the lack of better word.

So, go get it and post your impressions here. One of the upsides of reading is being able to discuss books with other people. Right?
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arem
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2008, 08:51:07 AM »

Read through both books yesterday and while the first one was excellent with nice (if predictable) plot and setting, Bloodheir sucked. Something was seriously wrong with that book. It was not long before I was skipping entire pages just to get to the ending.

Tuomas - I think you will be surprised as to how his personality develops Neutral
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Vince
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2008, 11:27:02 AM »

I read the first one when it came out. Liked the setting (especially the Black Road), the overall wintery atmosphere and the character of Aeglyss. However, the pacing is too slow, the "good guys" are unremarkable, and I never really got the feeling that there's anything special about the book. I'm going to pick up the second one because I'm interested in finding out how Aeglyss' personality develops.
Did you get a chance to pick up the second book yet? What are your impressions?
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Tuomas
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2008, 02:10:05 PM »

Did you get a chance to pick up the second book yet? What are your impressions?

I read it a while ago. Wasn't really impressed. I still like the atmosphere and the idea behind the series (political and religious war) but everything is too... simple. The characters are nothing you haven't seen a dozen times over. The twists and intrigue are done much better in other books (The Song of Ice and Fire for instance). When I was halfway through the book I found myself just flipping pages because everything that happened could've been told in a book half the size of this one.

You mentioned the capture of the Shadowhand as being well played out. I think that if you would continue reading AsoIaF (Didn't you once say you didn't finish A Game of Thrones?) you'd find a plot that is far more complex and events that are masterfully designed. Nowadays there are a lot of books out there with similar, morally grey approach to faction wars but I think AsoIaF is still the undefeated champion in that genre.

I like Godless World well enough (I'm a sucker for epic military fantasy) but Ruckley doesn't do anything that hasn't been done better by other writers.
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Special_Can
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008, 11:28:30 PM »

 I recently picked this up thanks to this topic. You better not let me down, Vince. lol
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Vince
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2008, 07:27:50 AM »

Don't forget to share your impressions with us.
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Tuomas
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 04:48:56 PM »


The third book in the series, Fall of Thanes, has been released in North America. Amazon is selling it but Amazon.ca isn't, so the Canadian release may be next week or so.

I'll probably read it eventually to see how it all ends. Right now I'm saving my money for the June release of Best Served Cold.^^

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Vince
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 07:02:24 PM »

Thanks for the tip.
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