Thursday, May 17, 2012

Seven Princes - John R Fultz

   Finally finished John R. Fultz's "Seven Princes",the first volume of his Books of the Shaper series.  I'm in agreement with most of the reviewers of it I've read; it's a blast.  From the opening pages there's an operatic quality to the events and characters Fultz creates.  Our heroes and villains are princes, a princess, forgotten pre-human powers and giants.  The prologue gives us an evil sorcerer, rampaging zombies and  an usurped prince.  The book never stops moving at a heart pounding pace from there.
   The world of the "Seven Princes" is one of giants and deep-dwelling, monstrous serpents.  Dark shadows strike in the night, rending flesh and drinking blood.  In distant jungles an ancient evil rises and plots and in another realm a king abdicates, driven to despair by dark visions and fear of madness.  Soon the whole world is on the verge of war.
   The book doesn't break any new ground, but dang, does it do what it does with panache.  Fultz has remembered what I think a lot of the grimdark authors forget - he's writing fantasy not realism.  If it's fantasy, why not make it as fantastical and extreme as possible sometimes?  
   Readers don't want to be reminded all the time of the dirt and grime they can see on the streets around them.  Sometimes they just want over-the-top action and heroics.  "Seven Princes" delivers that by the bushelful.   Plus the above mentioned, there are godlike entities towering into the clouds battling each other and ship crushing monsters.  Unexpected deaths and setbacks help maintain the suspense and cliffhanger pacing.
   I do have a few issues with the book.  At times the writing's a little hackneyed and the resolution's a little swift for all the magnificent build up.  Still, neither comes close to hurting Fultz's epic.  I really can't wait until next January when "Seven Kings" debuts.


  1. I've got this one. I need to move it higher in the TBR stack.

  2. I really got a kick out of it. For some reason it made me think like I was reading a well done Arduin campaign (was that actually possible?)