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Some reviews

I haven't written any book reviews for quite a while, so here are some brief thoughts on stuff I've read in the last few months.

Dragons of Winter Twilight, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

The second Dragonlance novel. Not as bad as I might have expected. I tolerated the first one as a good story badly written, whose origins as an AD&D campaign were all too obvious (even to the extent of telling you at the start of the book what character class and level the protagonists were and having the map in hex format). This second book continues the story but is much more competently written. It's still not exactly great fantasy literature, but it ain't bad. My biggest issue is that major events and quests happen to some of the point-of-view characters without us hearing about them. You can read about these events in much later Dragonlance books. That strikes me as a strange way to write a series of novels.

The Rituals of Infinity, Michael Moorcock

One of Moorcock's less well-known works. Novella rather than full length novel. The premise is that there are a series of parallel Earths which are being destroyed one-by-one by the mysterious 'D-squads'. Fighting against the D-Squads is a team led by enigmatic Eternal Champion incarnation Dr Faustus. Good romp that doesn't take itself too seriously.

The Blood Red Game, Michael Moorcock

Another lesser Moorcock work. Spliced together from two short works, 'The Sundered Worlds' and 'The Blood Red Game'. Tries to mix small scale space opera with grand fate-of-humanity stuff and doesn't pull it off. Not great I'm afraid. The edition I have has a bizarre cover featuring a shirtless guy wearing blue jeans and with his hair in a ginger afro. This of course has absolutely nothing to do with the book.

The City in the Autumn Stars, Michael Moorcock

This is the sequel (sort of) to The Warhound and the World's Pain, which was the best book I read in 2010. The second book features a descendant of the hero of the first, and other characters appear again. Once again it's highbrow fantasy with one foot in a historical setting (this time Reign of Terror era Europe) and one foot in the not quite so real setting of the 'Mittelmarch'. Quality stuff, if never getting to the heights of Warhound