The Forge in the Forest by Michael Scott Rohan
So, following on from the previous book in this series (my review), this is a continuation of the story. I'll admit again, this is a book I've read before, but I would say it remained a good story; I couldn't remember a lot of details too well, so there were genuine surprises even though I knew most of the plot beforehand.
And as to the plot; continuing from the previous book, this is the tale of Elof and Kermorvan, who head eastwards accross the land in search of the lost cities there; for centuries, there has been no content, but with the threat of the Ice still looming, they seek to reuinte the people of the land and stand together.
While the story is fairly standard fantasy fare of a long trip over land with various adventures therein, it is nonetheless entertaining. The book is of a slightly quicker pace than the Anvil of Ice, and this is a definite benefit; it is much easier to read, and feels as if it flows better, which was my most serious complaint about the earlier book. And the characters are interesting, in particular Tapiau, who I think is a wonderful interpretation of a God; all powerful, but missing an essential understanding of the problems faced.
But, and there's always a but, despite being better written, this book is not as good as the Anvil of Ice. It's just a bit too mundane; all the interest of the previous book - the creation of the world, the new characters - have already been done. It suffers from that traditional problem of sequels; it's alright, as they go, but it's not as good as the original.
I will give it one bonus point though; I didn't realise immediately there was a sequel to this book too. The ending is good, it clears up loose ends, it has sufficient shocks as well as turnarounds, and it feels right. And for a book in a series, I think this is important; all too many books end without really ending properly, and they leave you with a sense of incompleteness. This book is complete.
So, my summary... it's a good book. It's worth reading, if you've read the previous one; it is entertaining. I'll only give it 7, though, it's just not really great.
7/10Written by Nick Mann, April 2008.
Amazon.co.uk link: The Forge in the Forest
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