Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, March 12, 2004  

Fantasy books

I had heard that Hollywood (caught in the trilogy fantasy craze since LOTR) was going to make a film from a book titled Runelords.

The premise of the fantasy world intrigued me so I went and bought the book. It turned out to be a brilliant idea for inventing a world, but failed miserably in execution.

The central idea was that of a medieval world where people had abilities that could be given to others. Items like strength, hearing, sight, stamina could be sucked out of one person and infused into another. The catch was that the first person lost his strength and had to be cared for like a welfare client. If the first person died, his "ability" was lost to the other. If the second person died, the power reverted back to the original. Once taken, a power could never be taken again.

The story had much marvelous invention in its culture, but failed terribly because it quickly turned from adventure into soap opera, nor did it resolve a major conflict at the end, but introduced further conflicts and story lines every few chapters. Characters are always assessing their feelings and conversing about their misgivings constantly throughout.

The prose itself is ordinary in descriptiveness and never rises to the level of beautiful in any place.

I found the same problem with Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series (recently optioned for the movies, too) which I started some time ago and soon quit. It had marvelous devices created for the fantasy world, but all was wasted on soap opera writing and drama.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:51 PM |