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Okay, firstly what I liked about the first two books. The magic - for want of a better word - system is a solid one. Various characters each with different abilities, from flames, earth, healing, air or mystical seer like capabilities. This all works well and does not overpower completely those that do not have such gifts.
I also like the overall plot of the story with the Sages, the darkness and the world apart, though by this stage two books in I would like to have seen a little more light shined on exactly what is going on with they Sages and why they are fighting, and what the world apart is exactly, but I'm not quite at the point where it is annoying me the vague nature of it.
My problems start with what for me is the most important part of a book, and that is the characters themselves. The author has just managed to make them look like a bunch of utter morons. Half of what they say and most of what they do is just idiotic. They are constantly acting on preconceived ideas of people based solely off stories and conjecture about their history and individuals from that history. None more so than Cole, who annoys me the most of all the characters, and as he is effectively the main one that isn't good.
To give examples of moments that really made me want to fling the book across the room. Cole, a man trained for years to be a warrior. A man who often refers to themselves as killers. A man who has killer men by setting them on fire, chopping off limbs and heads or by running them through. And yet with all that he has a hissy fit when he uses his magic in a new way to kill someone, a fact mirrored by Lin who is disgusted by it. Killing is killing when someone is trying to kill you. Doesn't matter if you stab them, beat them with a rock, use magic or resort to a teaspoon. This is even more galling when Cole on two occasions pretty much flat out tries to murder people who are just talking with him and more so as they are giving him information he should be at least listening to and making an informed choice about.
In short this is just one of many moments that are just unlikely or bordering on utter stupidity that I found it hard to enjoy. Also, the narrator didn't work for me. His voicing of the characters was great, but I found his pacing and style for the narrative irritating. It might not bother everyone though, and so I call this a personal issue really.
This series is hotting up nicely - couldn't resist.
Awesome powers, strengths - of brawn and will. Friendships and alliances. Villains and betrayals.
I'm looking forward to the next one already.