"The Diamond Throne" by David Eddings

Genre: Epic Fantasy

The Story: Book One of The Elenium -- Sparhawk, renowned knight and Queen's Champion, has returned from a ten-year exile to find his queen seriously ill and the kingdom in political turmoil. He and his brotherhood, with the aid of a legendary sorceress, must find a cure for the queen while keeping her throne secure. As the plot unfolds, however, they discover a larger evil is threatening their world.

My Thoughts: Starts off slow, but improves once the action gets underfoot. Sections of back story drags at the momentum, as does excessive descriptive language. I once had a writing instructor who insisted on removing all adverbs from one's work. I always thought her little crusade was a tad excessive until I read the opening chapters of this book. Eddings has a habit of describing rather than presenting and it gets cloying at times.

On the other hand, his dialogue is witty and entertaining. And the characters are, for me, are the high point of the book. Eddings has a Dickensian skill for making individual characters memorable, usually in a humorous way. He also writes the tough guy well--formidable and confident without coming across like an ass. Fans of Raymond E. Feist will appreciate Talen, a precocious street thief who reminds me of an all-time favorite character, Jimmy the Hand.

Recommendation: Give this one a try if you like Raymond Feist or L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

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