|Submitted by Angry D |
(May 26, 2006)
David And Leigh Eddings have some talent in writing together, but too much of it is wrapped up in their supposedly all-powerful "formula" for writing fiction (originally developed as a formula for writing fantasy.)
First off, if one is going to write a book about contemporary young people, one should make an effort to study their speech and manner beforehand, else one look like a fool by writing their speech in an overly stereotypical and stylized manner.
Second, while the storyline was an interesting departure from the Eddingses fantasy works, elements of the "Eddings Formula" still cropped up, incessantly. It is now apparent that the Eddings are under contract to have at least one all-wise and ageless, beautiful woman in a platonic advisorial role to the main protaganist. They give her different names, and sometimes break her up into multiple characters, but she's still there.
Third, David Eddings should really know better than this, since he used to teach college English, but the assignment of a one hundred word essay on "What I did for my summer vacation" would N-E-V-E-R elicit groans in an undergraduate. One hundred words is child's play. College papers are traditionally assigned by PAGE NUMBER, and during my Bachelor's Degree I would have fallen to my knees and kissed the feet of any professor assigning me a mere one hundred words. (I think I've hit that limit in this review already.)
Fourth, The ending. Oh. My. God. The Ending. Was there a time constraint? Did the original idea not fit in the submission envelope? Wasn't there supposed to be a surprising twist somewhere? I was on page 70 when I figured out how the book was going to end. The only surprises were learning the names of the new characters. (Their personalities, sadly, are never a surprise any more. You can go through every Eddings book published after 1999 and scribble out the character names, to be replaced with "Garion," "Silk," "Durnik," and most especially, "Polgara.")
Having said all this, the book was interesting. It had an extraordinary premise that was botched by the clumsy writing of the once-great authors. There were funny moments. There were poignant moments. Nothing gripped like Kurik's death in the Tamuli, or cracked one up like Silk's description of Brill's attempt to learn how to fly in the Belgariad ("Does bouncing count?"), but there were flashes of the talent the authors used to display.
Ultimately, "Regina's Song" is the only book published by the Eddings since 1999 that is worth the cover price. It will not surprise you, but it may intrigue you.