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Posted November 27, 2007
One of the Best First books by an author EVER
If you read any kind of fantasy, you MUST read The Skewed Throne. It pulls you in so that you are part of it from the very first paragraph. It is so different and fascinating that you won't put it down. Run, don't walk to go and buy this book! And book 2 The Cracked ThroneWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2007
Great New Voice
I really enjoyed this book. I think he captures desperation, brutality, and hope in the character of Varis. I also think he did a good job of making Varis a dynamic character. She isn't static. She changes. He even manages to give her a code of honor. I respect Palmatier a lot for that. It's easy to give such a code to a hero that lives in a nice world, even harder when that hero is 'gutterscum'. The fight scenes are superb and the aftermath of each time this character kills is very well done. It's not often the hero takes a hard look at what he or she has done and why. Palmatier has created a vibrant, living setting in the Dredge. But it doesn't stop there. The people who populate this world add so much to his narrative. I also find his use of magic to be wholly imaginative. I hope he takes this as a compliment, but I was somewhat reminded of Dune's Paul Atreides' use of future sight. Except here, Varis is far more practical and visceral.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 8, 2006
NOT YOUR TYPICAL FANTASY TALE BUT STILL QUITE GOOD
This is good. Really good. And it isn't like much of the derivative fantasy out there. By that, I'm talking about the dumb farm boy, who gets the talisman/sword from the wise old man, to defeat the Dark Lord of Wherever. Now if you do go for that derivative fantasy, don't let it get you down. Expand your horizons and go for something different like this book. Focus is on one character: a close to pubery girl named Varis who lost her mother at a very young age and has become something of a thief in the seedy districts of the city. She also has a special empath-like power that lets her see into the souls of strangers and gauge if they're good or evil. Look for a great deal of emphasis on how she steals food (i.e. distracts some merchant while taking a piece of fruit) as well as how she deals with hunger and loss. The first sign of affection from someone nearly makes her burst into tears and this is one of the strong points of the character. Rarely do such complex characters exist in fantasy tales. Partway through the tale, Varis is hired by a royal assassin to find people for him, and, a bit later, kill people for him. All come through order of the Skewed Throne, a magical seat which is controlled by a queen of sorts, who wields a great power to control the magical fluxuations. Think of the Skewed Throne like some great magical item of mystery. Moral issues arise as Varis discovers some of the intended targets of execution are not evil. Moreoever, matters become more twisted when her mentor lets a competitor-thief boy get training and his heart is very dark. Through a series of events, Varis goes into hiding and becomes a bodyguard for a rich merchant. Don't be fooled by her small size, though, her mentor trained her to be deadly with a knife. People thinking she is weak works to her advantage. However, the intrigue is just getting worse and it all ties into the Skewed Throne. Look for a great deal of focus on the main character's stifled social skills as well as what it was really like to be a thief on the verge of starvation. Deep themes of belonging and doing the right thing are also apparent.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.