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Reviews of 'Tides of Blood'

Tides of Blood

by Richard A. Knaak
The Minotaur Wars, Volume 2

Reviews of 'Tides of Blood'

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Reviewer: Steffen Bogh

Rating: Stars

This is the second installment in the Minotaur Wars Trilogy. Faros, the minotaur slave tormented in the mines of Vyrox on the minotaur island of Mithas, has been sold to the ogres together with other minotaur slaves as part of the pact the usurper, Hotak, has made with the ogres.

In the ogre camp, Faros suffers under horrific conditions with the other slaves. But the slave master's tyrany doesn't last. In the ogre lands, Faros and the other minotaurs build up an immense rebellion.

Meanwhile, Hotak is deeply immensed in the conquest of Ansalon, but often disturbed by his wife, Nephera's, more and more weird and suspect behaviour. But as Nephera's Forerunner sect gains more and more power, so does the minotaur invasion army, who at last marches on Silvanesti. This is the book where the elven kingdom falls to the minotaurs might.

Even if it is quite a momentous chapter in the history of Krynn, I wouldn't say it is a momentous chapter in the history of Dragonlance publishing. As in the first volume in the trilogy, the viewpoint changed several times through just one chapter. This method of telling the story irritated me in the first volume, and I don't think it has been improved in this second volume. You get the feeling that whole story is being told in very small pieces.

Another problem, and maybe the biggest problem with this book, is that it suffers from dozens of inconsistencies. I don't think I've read any other Dragonlance book that suffers so much from this. Richard Knaak hasn't paid any attention to the Dragonlance lore, regarding the ogre nations especially. The description of the city of Kernen/Garantha doesn't match with any previously written DL material, and the descriptions of the ogre leaders of both Kern and Blöde is totally inconsistent. Especially the exclusion of the ogre titans and Dauroth is a great flaw. Knaak could have found info on this subject in both the old "Rise of the Titans" book and the new "Age of Mortals" book.

Another bothersome aspect of the book is the dialogue. I find it very sparse and very thin. You won't find any one-liners in this novel. I really miss a bit more complex dialogue, which will also give the characters more depth, than just describing what they do. A thing that bothered me, was how many times Faros didn't care about anyhting. Okay, fine, a quite realistic character development, but it would have been much more interesting to see Faros act a bit more through dialogue than just describing his thoughts all the time.

If I have to mention something good about the novel, then it is the general storyline. While reading the book, I haven't been able to guess the outcome of many things. The plot isn't straightforward. I find that there was some okay plot twists and even if you know from the War of Souls trilogy that the minotaurs will conquer Silvanesti, Knaak still keeps the readers attention and excitement.

Another good thing about the book, was the realistic description of the slave mines, and the treatment of the slaves. How the torture was described seemed to me more adult than many other Dragonlance books.

All in all, I think the novel suffers all too much from the inconsistencies and the way it is written and built up. I would say, that this time I'm quite disappointed. The first volume I found was average, but this one, I find below average. The last volume really has to offer some surprises and a raised literary quality if this trilogy isn't to be regarded as one of the bad trilogies in the Dragonlance Saga.

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