1 out of 4 stars
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A definite waste of my time!
I cannot begin to recite what I don't like about Korian: The Manian's Spear by Giorgio Garofalo. An evident lack of imagination far too reminiscent of many other tales ranks high on my list, further worsened by a plethora of undeveloped characters, of repeated words, and of fragmentations in the writing style. This is why my rating for this book is as low as 1 star out of 4, although I would have gladly given it a half-star were it only allowed.
Endura is a troubled planet. Things aren't bad when only the indigenous race, called Ruids or firstlings, inhabits it. Then humans appear, and the world plunges into the Dark Ages. Luckily, things pick up again during the New Age, when the two different races try to find a peaceful way to coexist together.
Needless to say, they fail, but it isn't just a matter of balance between firstlings and humans. Good and evil throw in their weight and complicate the situation beyond any repair. Conflict is inevitable, lengthy, and mostly bloody. It spans the centuries and requires wizards, dragon-like beasts, zombies, seekers, hunters and magic stones. The only hope lies in a foretold savior, who alone will have the power to stop the carnage and the despair swallowing his world.
To say that this tale sounds familiar is clearly an understatement. The Lord of the Rings, the Arthurian myths, Darkover, Shannara, Dune, and many other masterpieces come to mind when reading this book. Still, the author might have pulled it off had he not tried to jumble everything together and cram too much at once. The characters, for instance, are too many to handle, with the predictable consequence that none of them have any depth, all that walking around with nowhere to go and living alone for years on end evidently wearing them down. The plot is a clutter of too many unrelated events piled on one another until it's simply too much to take. An overpopulation of big, bad, and ugly creatures smelling of death and decay litters the planet with their need to destroy anything that moves. An exorbitant amount of evil corrupts every aspect of life, and it's the darkest, most horrific and stinking wickedness you'll ever have the misfortune of encountering. Mr. Garofalo's ambition to produce a grand epic saga seems to be boundless, but he falls short, too spread out on the million things he has laid down to make any sense or logic out of them.
The writing style doesn't help either. For one thing, repeated words within the same sentence are far too abundant. Same words and sentence structure are used to describe the ugliness and stench of something or someone, regardless if it's a human, a firstling, an animal, or a place. Then again, other words like “vitamin deficiency” are plainly absurd and should have never been used given the context of this book.
POV shifts are excessive and result in an unclear, choppy narration. Readers are so busy following the volley between the characters that they risk losing the story altogether. Authorial comments, intrusions, and premonitions are a further disturbance, thus increasing the confusion. I've lost count of the number of incipits similar to: “This day began as any other day. It would, however, turn out far different.” Such anticipations, which are beyond a character's point of view, are the sure sign that Mr. Garofalo is not very experienced as a writer and hasn't relied on an editor for proofreading and polishing.
In the end, I have had to struggle to finish this book. I perceive no internal logic in the storyline, which makes it unrealistic, and it goes without saying that I don't recommend this read to anyone.
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