Monday, May 11, 2015

Book Review: A Crown for Cold Silver

Author| Alex Marshall
Edition| eGalley courtesy of Netgalley
Genre| Dark Fantasy
Publisher| Orbit
Rating| 4 Stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you Orbit, and Netgalley.

I'm so sorry.  I feel like such a horrible person!  It's been such a long time since I've reviewed a book on this blog and I feel as if I've let you all down.  I'm not sure what happened.  I didn't go into a reading slump, per say, but I also wasn't reading as many novels as usual.  The ones I did read took me much longer than I expected.  But summer is right around the corner and I intend to make things right.

A Crown for Cold Silver is one heck of a book to debut with.  It's pretty great, and pretty expansive.  It follows several characters, particularly Zosia, as they follow their own paths to individual vengeance.  I can't say much because I'd risk giving something away.

Allow me to start with the bad and get it out of the way.  This book is long.  I don't mind long books that carry you through at a pretty quick pace.  ACfCS was anything but fast.  I think a few years pass as the story unfolds and for a lot of that time I felt like nothing interesting happened.  The most interesting of the characters, Zosia, was often left out of the story.  She was the only one I was really curious about.  More was left unsaid over her than anyone else, who were dissected so much I got headaches.  And then the ending was pretty terrible.  If this is a series, it's fine, because it leads nicely into more stories.  But if it's a novel, as I've seen it advertised in many places, it sucks.  It leaves EVERYTHING open and there are even more questions than answers.  The questions at the beginning of the book, even, remain unsolved, growing larger.  Character's felt tossed about and un-cared for, their stories dying off slowly.  The major plot didn't seem to move much at all, either.  If this is the start of a series, though, count me in.  I like where it's going.

Now, the good.  The coolest part about this book was that it happened after the "golden age" for these characters.  Think RED (the movie starring Bruce Willis and a bunch of other BAMF old people), where there were many adventures before the book even begins.  And we never get to see them.  And they sound like pretty cool adventures.  Somehow, Marshall manages to convey these previous stories, without telling them.  The characters are well developed before anything really starts and they continue to develop.  The journey they're all on, now, is equally as interesting as whatever came before.  I loved how it kept up this feeling of, "they had lives before this shit went down- cool lives" the entire time.

The magic system was wicked awesome as well.  The way demons worked, sort of like familiars, until you set them free in exchange for a wish, was awesome.  This way everyone had the same way to get power, and also a way to characterize that power.  It gave a personality to the magic, and introduced some very ambiguous, very interesting characters.

Whatever Mr. Marshall write's next, I'll pick up.  He seems to be a natural at this writing thing.  He's captivating and full of unique ideas.

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