Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Monarchies of God by Paul Kearney


Hawkwood’s Voyage.
The Herectic Kings.
The Iron Wars.
The Second Empire.
Ships from the West.

The plot is a little predictable and the conflict between Rasmusians and the Merduks and is a little too similar to the Christianity and Islam for my comfort, yet I really liked this series.  Kearney provides his own twist including a religious schism and injects mages and werewolves to make a volatile mix.

The Monarchies of God has quite a bit political intrigue reminding me of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.              And like Martin, Kearney’s not afraid to make his characters suffer.    They endure a great deal of hardship and he’s also not afraid to kill them off when it’s convenient. Kearney is good at creating complex characters with multiple motivations and opinions.

Another thing I liked about the Monarchies of God is that the books are streamlined, tight and fast moving. Kearney says what he has to say and gets out. He also does not include long-winded descriptions or details that not necessary to the plot so each book is much shorter than you would expect; in a genre where books are typically 600 or pages, his books not much longer than 300. And brevity turns out to be Kearney’s only major downside.     His books are just a little too short. Several times in the series I wondered what happened to particular character or with certain events, but was unable to find out because those scenes were cut or never included at all. The epilogue of book five was way too brief and did not reveal any of the consequences of the series events.  

However, Monarchies of God is good series and definitely worth reading.
Final series rating: 8/10.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The series is supposed to be a parralel with Islam and Christianity. The sacking of Aekir (I think that's how it's spelt) is the sacking of Constantinople and there are other real life evnts mirrored in the book. He has a forum at which he will answer any questions about the Monarchies series or his others: http://www.paulkearneyonline.com/forum/

Benjamin said...

Thanks for the info. I already knew about it I just haven't had the chance to really peruse the forum yet. :-)

Ariel said...

Kearney will be revising the ending of the series for the omnibus edition that's due to be published by Solaris in Summer 2008 as well. More info over on his forum post on the subject.

Benjamin said...

Thanks Ariel, I did see that, albeit after I wrote my review. I look forward to reading the expanded book. :-)