Mark Lawrence is an amazing short story writer. He manages to combine so much emotion and characterization in a compacted word length that the reader is left feeling like they have lived an entire lifetime, rather than just 2000 words.
During the Dance is very different than Lawrence's longer works of fiction. It is story about family, siblings, and grief. It is about the joy that one special girl give to the world in her brief time on Earth.
There seem to be two groups of readers for this book. There are those who love it, and those who do not. I am in the do not category.
From the start this book was slow. It did not capture my attention and I kept putting it down. It was the first book I started reading in January and the last that I finished. I wanted to DNF it, but I could not bring myself to do it. I own it in hardcover, and to not read it would have crushed me. That and I kept holding out that the ending got better.
The writing is ok. It is so flowery that sometimes I wanted to role my eyes. I think the author tried to find the word that was more beautiful rather than the word that would make sense. The end result was a complete disconnect from reading.
I will say that I saw each character of the novel vividly. They had their own unique personalities. They were just people I had zero desire to read about. If they were real people in my life I would cut them off. The main character - Mirage - is incompetent, self absorbed, petty, and immature. The other characters call her these things, yet, despite no redeeming value, they all listen to her and fall in love with her. She does not grow up at all. Even at the end of the book she was still the same self absorbed girl at the start of the novel. None of the side characters are any better.
Then the plot makes zero sense. The climax of the novel was off. There were pages and pages and pages of her doing nothing for the book to all end in under ten pages. There were also plot holes, and the timing within the novel was all wrong. It was not complex enough to confuse me, but it did manage to annoy me. . . a lot.
Also, why, why, why make up words for absolutely no reason. It does not add anything to the novel. Randomly replacing words with the same meaning is just trivial. It takes away from a story rather than add to it.
Finally, the world that was created around the novel could have been epic. Instead, it was thrown in at random times and never adequately explained or used to improve the novel. The idea was interesting, but since most of the information was left out it felt flat.
Mirror Gate is the second book in Harbinger series. It focus on two girls, one is trying to win the throne and the other is brought up from poverty.
I honestly do not have a lot to say about this book. It was a good book that I put on when I was not listening to anything else. I could go weeks without listening and pick up right where I left off.
It was interesting, but not fast pace. I keep waiting for more complex dynamics to be at play. They never happen. Even the secret, that I waited two books for, left me thinking, "oh, that was all."
At the same time it is a good read. I enjoy the story and want to know what happens next. I just do not feel the rush to get there. I will pick up the next book when I am not specifically listening to another book.
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