Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: Spellsinger

Spellsinger Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While I enjoyed this as a kid, I can't say I recommend it. It's a series of mostly-unconnected vignettes, that by themselves aren't badly written but suffer from not really going anywhere. And then Foster waves his authorial wand and we get something like "...and then two weeks passed" and then we get another unconnected bit of admittedly intriguing fantasy world. But the intriguing bits just make you ask questions that are never answered (like "what, in a world where all animals are apparently intelligent except for lizards, do giant great-horned owls that live in the frozen tundra eat?") And the segues over the long travelling bits make the overall plot kind of fail to hang together. How do you travel - in closely-confined quarters - with a half-dozen people for weeks on an epic quest, and never ask anythng about where you're going? How do you, transported to an alien world and informed you have magic powers that may be critical to saving the world, travel for months and never actually experiment with or learn anything about those powers?

None of the characters are particularly deep - for all that I liked the cheerleader who gives Jon-Tom crap for "falling in love" with the idealised version of her in his head. In many ways this is just Xanth all over again, with slightly less creepy sexuality.

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