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The Fifth Sorceress The beginning of this book was a little slow for me and somewhat hard to get into but that only lasted the first fifty pages or so and then I was thoroughly hooked One of the reviews said that it was reminiscent of the Song of Ice and Fire and I would agree that there were times I thought of that Both writers have a somewhat larger than normal propensity for killing off some characters beyond what you would typically experience in many fantasy books In some ways I was also reminded of the Wheel of Time though Tristan and Rand could be said to be similar characters at this point in time Although, I think that the similarity will probably end there as the series goes on and Tristan becomes of a fully developed character All in all this is a pretty amazing read and Newcomb gets points for some serious originality at times The Minions of Day and Night for example I would love to see of them.The ending had so many last minute revelations and twists and turns that I know for a fact sooner or later I ll be going on to Book Two in this series Only a matter of time before I find it cheap somewhere either in a used book store or on my Nook. Quite possibly the worst book ever written It fails in every category. In The Fifth Sorceress, Robert Newcomb conjures a time and place wrought with exquisite detail, characters vividly drawn and deeply felt, and a history rich in glory and horror, splendor and secretsWe gave them a chance once, long ago We offered to share power equally, and in peace But they refused and chose war With them it was all or nothing Wizard against Sorceress Male against female Light against dark It isthan three centuries since the ravages of a devastating war nearly tore apart the kingdom of Eutracia In its wake, those who masterminded the bloodshed a quartet of powerful, conquest hungry Sorceresses were sentenced to exile, with return all but impossible and death all but inevitable Now a land of peace and plenty, protected and guided by a council of immortal wizards, Eutracia is about to crown a new king And as the coronation approaches, the spirit of celebration fills every heart Except one.Prince Tristan is a reluctant monarch to be Though born with the endowed blood that will give him the power to master magic, and destined by tradition to succeed his father as ruler, he is a rebel soul And when he discovers the ancient, hidden caves where strange red waters flow possessed of their own mysterious magic it only makes him yearn all theto escape his future of dutyand succumb to the stirrings of enchantment within him.Butthan tradition compels Tristan to ascend the throne The very existence of Eutracia depends upon it For after these long centuries of peace, dreadful omens have begun to appear, heralding something too unspeakable to ponder And if indeed the old evil has returned, hungry to wreak vengeance, Tristan s role in an ages old prophecy must be fulfilled or the cost to his kingdom and his people will be beyond imagination.It will be a battle like none ever known, against an enemy whose thirst for blood and domination is depthless and unyielding And for Tristan, it will be the ultimate challenge facing an adversary whose greatest weapon is the person he loves most transformed into the instrument of his annihilationand the catalyst that will doom Eutracia forever to darkness. See my full thoughts here book fucking sucks.Normally I d write some sort of introduction to this review that gives a general idea of my thoughts on this book as well as the broad strokes of why I feel that way and what sort of book this is But I think the phrase this book fucking sucks tells you exactly what you need to know, let s dive right in.So this book takes place in the land of Genericfantasyworldia, a place so bland you d swear it was made of rice cakes and saltines It s a land of I don t know, wizards and shit There s no history to this world, no sense of scale or politics, no culture or religion, nothing that makes it interesting or unique in any way Several characters spend pages upon pages monolouging fuck you, spellcheck, that s a real word about magic and what it does, yet I never got any sense of how it works or what it s limitations are Why don t the sorceresses just blow everyone at the palace up Why can t Wigg use his powers all of a sudden What exactly makes Tristan special All of these questions and will not be answered.Three hundred years ago, Genericfantasylandia was gripped by a conflict called The Sorceress War, which was only ended with the final four sorceresses being exiled to their hopeful deaths Well, spoiler alert, there s a fifth sorceress that s causing trouble Meanwhile, Tristan, our protagonist and prince of Genericfantasylandia, is whining about his responsibilities and generally being a man child He s also the chosen one, because fuck putting effort into making your characters interesting because of what they do, just say they re born special And then stuff happens, he goes on an adventure to save the world apparently Robert Newcomb thinks that no other plots exist and he fights bad guys You know exactly what s going to happen in this plot and there are no twists or mysteries to keep you interested.Tristan is a dumbass On several occasions he rushes into danger because he can t stand to see others in danger While this almost sounds like an interesting character flaw, he does it so often that you begin to question if he doesn t have some sort of undiagnosed Asbergers syndrome Not only that, he s directly rewarded for his stupidity a few times And his constant questions about magic start off obvious and get obvious as time goes on The other characters are similar The only one that s okay is Wigg, the standard old mentor who is unflinchingly loyal to the protagonist While he isn t very original, he is likable and badass.But that doesn t cover it, the book is worse than that See, this entire generic plot and cliched list of cardboard cutouts posing as characters is given to us in the form of pages and pages of monologues, given by both the characters and the narrator Why let us figure out that Tristan is a good swordsman on our own when we could just read a page where he thinks about how good he is That s how storytelling works, right When you have a creature that literally introduces itself by saying I am a wiktor or multiple women being described as the most beautiful woman he had ever seen you know that this book is broken beyond repair.The one positive of this book, which takes it from a 1 10 to a 2 10, is the violence There is some depraved, sadistic violence in here of the physical, psychological, and sexual varieties Bodies being mutilated, heads being strung onto ropes, women being raped until they die and then piling their bodies up to the height of a house, this gets fucked up The violence is exploitative, and stupid, and doesn t add much to the story, but it is legitimately the only thing that gives this pile of words any sort of unique identity If not for that, this book wouldn t stand out in any way whatsoever.I hate this book Not only did it suck away uncounted hours of my life, it looked promising enough that I threw away 8.99 of my hard earned money Stay away from this garbage, for your own sake. This may be the worst fantasy book I ve ever read The characters were silly and the plot was ridiculous I can t say enough bad things about it Avoid it like the plague. Though not as bad as I expected given its reputation, this is a pretty bad book Sometimes in instructive ways, which is why I read it, but also sometimes in amusing ways.This book really likes its infodumps They re heavy handed, but what I find remarkable is that many times the infodumps describe things that the reader already learned in a previous infodump There are even some examples where the character themselves knows what is being infodumped to them, and the person infodumping knows that.At the dramatic climax, when all hope seems lost, there are 18 solid pages of infodumping and reiteration of the plot And once the conflict is resolved and there are multiple time bombs in play, the characters spend several pages standing around talking about random details.For a world in which functional magic exists, everyone is comically incredulous about every new fantasy element they encounter At first it s funny when a 300 year old wizard is just gobsmacked by the slightest thing, but eventually I became really sick of people s minds reeling at every opportunity.In that and many other aspects, everyone in this book is an idiot There s a late moment where two characters have a conversation obliquely about something else, and every single line gets a full explanation even though their metaphors are painfully obvious People are constantly angered or impressed by trivialities And after so much buildup and pretentious withholding of information, here are the clever strategies to resolve the final conflicts 1 Let every stage of the villain s plan succeed until they begin the ritual to destroy the world, then bump their magic artifact and they all die Non villains are fine because magic.2 When surrounded by enemy forces, duel their leader, start to lose, then go Look over there and stab him when he isn t looking You are now the new leader.As I said, parts of this book are competent than I expected But that s damning with faint praise, because nobody reads fantasy to trudge through mediocrity This was an interesting industry trainwreck to read, but I have zero desire to read any. I read this book twice, the second time just to reaffirm if I really remembered accurately from the first time how bad it was My memory did not deceive me.The amount of implicit hate towards women who are either passive virgin saint types or whore witches out for seamen no I am not joking in combination with a perfect chosen main character and a sage who carefully explains away any logical sollution to things, makes this book infuriatingly bad The story itself is quite derivative from Tolkien and Robert Jordan, with a magic stone which has all power and an army from over the ocean returning for vengeance, with some extra sex scenes added into the mix Compounded with the fact that Newcomb loves adjectives, this is a clear one star rating for me, and a strong contender for worst book I ever read. Not sure why so many people did not care for this book I thought it was amazing I was captivated the whole time and it was one of those books that really changed me in a way My only complaint was that some parts were a little to graphic Wonderfully written Uneven fantasy debut with some great ideas and some murky writing The world is pretty interesting a mist enshrouded kingdom isolated by magic from any neighboring countries and burdened with the memory of a horrific 300 years ago civil war lead by a coven of evil sorceresses The main character Prince Tristan the chosen one, based on an incredibly elastic and constantly referenced ancient book length prophecy is sort of a cardboard cutout of a pretty uninteresting late teens bored and irresponsible prince, until an invasion and royal tragedies compel him to vow revenge on the sorceresses, who have been living in exile for 300 years, and launch himself on an adventure Post vowing revenge he is slightly interesting than before, although he keeps falling inexplicably in love with like within an hour of meeting serioulsy dull women during the adventure who almost immediately die on him It is one of those fantasies where the writer keeps violating the rules of magic he has set up and then justifies it by saying something like But of course, the prophecies allow the magic to work this way under certain circumstances because the chosen one has appeared, during a full moon in this specific cermony if the right chalice is used and there is special water from the magic cave surrounding the sacred stone, etc., etc Also, many key characters make extremely stupid decisions for plot purposes that the author tries to continually justify in irritating ways For instance, the king points out that if the prophecy dictates that 2 3 of the kingdom and almost the entire royal family is going to be slaughtered at an upcoming ceremony on a particular day, perhaps the kingdom could consider moving the ceremony up a day or two Thereby avoiding the return of the evil sorceresses and their hordes of rape and murder happy minion armies Especially since the sorceresses will only be able to invade during this special ceremony when the good guys lose their magic for an hour during the ritual It might throw off their plans if we switch the date Sounds good to me, good thing we made this guy king, right No, no, no The head sorcerer goes through some sort of stupid two page justification monologue about how the wizards council has considered all such alternatives and the best course is really just to go ahead with the ceremony as planned and plotted by the author and hope for the best Half the book is justification where the author tries to patch up leaky plot points with dumb sounding Well, we ve thought of that, but the prophesy says kind of stuff.The villians are moustache twirling, evilest of evil, truly depraved sorts that I find a bit dull and uninteresting You can pretty must count on them to do their evilest in a by the numbers fashion with little variation Will probably keep reading the series at least one book further, but it may peter out after that. Lol literally the worst book I have ever read This is just a nostalgia review 14 year old me knew this book was awful And 14 year old me still kinda loved Dragonlance so WHICH IS ENTERTAINING AND ENJOYABLE AT LEAST AND I GAVE IT LIKE 4 NOSTALGIA STARS ON HERE

About the Author: Robert Newcomb

Robert Newcomb travelled widely in his youth as a member of the American Institute for Foreign Study He now lives in Florida The Fifth Sorceress marked his d but and is the first book in The Chronicles of Blood and Stone trilogy The second volume, The Gates of Dawn, is also published in Bantam paperback and the concluding novel, The Scrolls of the Ancients, in Bantam Press trade paperback.

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