Monday, August 21, 2006

The Younger Gods - David & Leigh Eddings

The Younger Gods
The Dreamers – Book 4
David & Leigh Eddings


Note: This is the fourth and final book in this series. If you haven’t read the previous volumes, this review may contain spoilers.

In the land of Dhrall, the time of the Elder Gods is coming to an end. The time is fast approaching when the Elder Gods will enter their sleep stage, allowing their counterparts, the Younger Gods to take over their lands and duties. Aracia, one of the Elder Gods has become accustomed to being worshipped and praised by her human subjects, and has no desire to relinquish her power. She plans to stay awake, by any means necessary, even if means the destruction of her Younger counterpart.

While the other Gods are dealing with their sister’s decaying mind, they must also worry about the next attack by the Vlagh. The Vlagh, an immortal, insect-like creature, has failed in her last three attempts to take over the human lands she needs for her children. Despite re-designing her children for maximum destructive capacity, her attacks have been repelled in three of the four kingdoms. Everyone in Dhrall realizes that, when the Vlagh attacks the last remaining land, it will be an all-or-nothing battle for survival. And, since the Vlagh can spawn untold numbers of soldiers, the humans are at a disadvantage.

I’ve been a fan of David Eddings since reading his first fantasy series, The Belgariad. This series, however, just does not measure up. The book is written almost entirely in dialogue. This results in every event being ‘told’ to the reader through characters’ speeches, instead of being ‘shown’ through descriptive passages. As in previous volumes, the dialogue is oddly stilted and quite simplistic. In addition, conversations are repetitive throughout the book. Hearing different characters state the same facts with the exact same words, mere pages apart, is more distracting than helpful. That said, the few bits of descriptive writing are done quite well, particularly the Preface, which is written from the Vlagh’s point of view. The world is unique, the Vlagh makes for a frighteningly alien enemy, and the whole series had a huge amount of potential. In my opinion, the execution just didn’t live up to it.

Rating: 6
August 2006
ISBN# 0-446-53228-2 (hardcover)

Also available:
The Elder Gods – Book 1
The Treasured One – Book 2
Crystal Gorge – Book 3


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