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Reviews of Dark Lord (2007)

Review by tatar_khan (2009-02-27)
Dark Lord is book by Ed Greenwood. Ed Greenwood is a famous writer credited with creation of Forgotten Realms. So it is clear to say that this book by him begs a question: What happened here?
The book is a fantasy fiction that is replay on the story of the person from modern world getting stuck in fantasy world, except this time the person is the creator of the fantasy world. Letís look at the novel.
The cover art is very good it reflects the name of the novel, has a good looking woman on it and the man with some glow in his hands to signify the magical powers. The background looks evil and so we associate the name of Dark Lord with it. The cover is very good.
The use of language in the book is ok. It is not great but it is simple and gets the point across. The narrative is done from the third person perspective with the focus shifting from the protagonists, to group of warriors, to wizards and two scam artists. This allows us to keep the tabs on the action that goes on in the book.
At this point the compliments to the novel must stop. The character and character development are not great. The protagonist is just not appealing enough as a personality to associate with, yet the rest of the novel really doesnít offer any alternatives. The woman warrior at his side seems to be a bit one dimensional. Other characters are not really any better, their motivation is rarely given and even when given it seems to be too weak as it hardly affects the characters. It just feels that it is badly pieced together characters and the rest of the world too. The character development doesnít happen much, we get the picture of the characters through different passages of text but really it all seems to be ill fitting. The characters do not evolve either, while that is not necessary always for the novel it would have been nice to have this in the book.
The themes are there, there is the standard good versus evil theme, the fact that magic like anything could be used for good and evil, as well as trying to fight ones destiny. But they are weakly expressed; neither do they really leave a mark on the reader that they usually do.
The plot has potential but the story is expressed in such a way that it is flat. The questions arise as to what is preoccupation with the sex. Alright, the author is writing a novel for adult reader but that doesnít mean to turn it into pornography in prose. The story is a bit predictable and begs questions why a magical gate was needed to be created to the castle of the duke when there was a gate already. Why use the other transporting magic that involves fire when another form is less risky and is available. And why the protagonist does use the dagger all the time when from the begging of the book he has a sword. Why do some of the characters lack knowledge that seems to be the common knowledge or the information they should posses as the similar characters do posses that information.
Than there are grave inconsistencies: unicorns are credited to protagonistís creation as he is able to shape the fantasy word in the early pages of the book but in the middle of the book they created to a game company. There is also a castle that appears to him in visions; he doesnít recognize it however later he remembers it clearly. Dark Helms are first identified to be zombie like warriors assembled from body pars but later they are talking to each other and even urinating. It is weird for zombies to possess bodily functions. Event he fact that the protagonist at first doesnít know what dark Helms are but later seems to refer to them to the creation of the game company and that companyís explanation of what they are.
In the end, I can only think of one explanation for what happened. The protagonist is the creator of the fantasy world and it got away from him. Now due to the messing around of the game company it is a wreck and so the novel is also reflecting that through lousy theme development, characters and character development.. So since this would be a trilogy so with each book the quality would improve as protagonist fixes the world. However, if that is the case than the trilogy should have been published as one book because now it just created confusion for the readers and reluctance to buy the next book.
In conclusion I have very few positive things to say about the book as it is just terrible. This work must be attempting to ride out on the authors fame, instead it really ruining it terribly.




©Steven Jeffery / IBList.com, 2012
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