The Wizard and the Warlord
3 of 5 stars
Well, the Wardstone Trilogy is finished. Overall, I enjoyed this book, but with a couple of caveats.
First, Mathias has not improved his writing or style from the first book. There are still awkward phrases, anachronistic words or actions and an inability to “show”, which is evidenced by having to be told things from the characters that just show lack of a good editor.
Second, sexual content. This was no harlequin romance with pornographic descriptions of sex, but there were several instances of sex being led up to or described euphemistically that seemed like they were thrown in to titillate the reader instead of advancing the story. One such titillation was his description of the giant queen. Breasts the size of ale kegs? and more?
Finally, the buildup was the first 90% of the book, then BAM, the big battle then the happy ending. The pacing just grated on me.
Now for the positive.
The story finishes up well. The tale began in The Sword and the Dragon and continued in Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools is wrapped here. No big loopholes for “sequels”, just enough sadness to offset the victories and there is resolution in the characters lives as well as the story.
I enjoyed this. At times it was draggy, but at others I felt like I was on a locomotive. The one thing this whole series could have used though was a professional editor. There were just too many places where sentence structure made me read the same sentence several times to figure out what the author actually intended to say.
Recommend you borrow this series from a friend and if you like it, buy it to support the author. But I am done with M.R. Mathias as he is just too unpolished for my longterm tastes.