Tamuli, The by David Eddings
Having read all of David (and Leigh) Eddings books and generally being an avid fan, I was initially pretty disappointed with the Tamuli series.
I found every character to be fairly similar and predictable. Every person you come across is basically a sarcastic wise-guy. We meet supposedly high ranking officials and Emperors and great rulers, yet within a few minutes of conversation every one of them seems ok that their countries/systems of government/religions are being mocked and ridiculed and they all feel instantly comfortable with revealing every personal aspect of themselves and their situation.
We are also (having read the previous books) aware that the main characters (Sparhawk etc) are already virtually unbeatable and seemingly every new character introduced is brilliant in some way or another. Because of this I never felt that there was any real threat or daner that they could not instantly resolve. In fact this was the case for the majority of the early plot. The action flew by in a few paragraphs and seemingly important events, such as the first encouter with the trolls and a Troll-god were rushed through and then sarcasticly laughed off by every one in the party. Not one character was slightly fazed about being attacked by flesh eating trolls and gods.
I realise that this is often Eddings style but found myself hoping for a character who would have the odd human emotion and not be totally infallible. Or perhaps a battle that lasted for more than a paragraph or two and where I actually felt there was perhaps a slight chance of failure.
Although the series is definitely worth a read and does get better and better as you go along, i felt a great story was dulled as how do you lose when every character is already god-like and takes every encounter in such a casual, joking, sarcastic manner.
David Eddings writing is something special though, often very funny and the important plot twists and storyline are, as always, fantastic. The characters in the previous series were wonderful, however they are too powerful and too similar (wiseguys!) for me in this series.
I will however be first in queue for the next book!
Submitted by John Aldridge
In the second book of this series David Eddings produces one of the most startling and original twists to a plot that I have ever come across.
This is not to say that the others(nor the previous Elenium series) is in any way inferior, they are not. It's just that in 'The Shining Ones' Eddings does an Agatha Christie on us by revealing a villain who, according to the evidence, has been influencing all of the events in the whole six book series.
It was such a startling revelation that I decided to lay 'The Shining Ones' aside and go and reread the previous four. Luckily the final book, 'The Hidden City' was slow in being released, thus enabling me to get to grips with them.
Armed with the knowledge of just who the villain was, it was quite easy to spot where this person had put a foot wrong, so to speak. Several feet wrong, I might add.
As will all of David Eddings books(including the latest that I am currently reading, 'Crystal Gorge', the third episode in 'The Dreamers' quartet) plotting is everything. The clues were there but hidden from general view until the revelation made them clear. This means that the Eddings couple(I must give Leigh her due here) go from strength to strength in their stories and the worlds they create.
Keep up the good work David and Leigh and I'm sure your fanbase will eventually exceed that of John Ronald Ruel's--if it hasn't already.
Submitted by milobrandybuck
Having read and enjoyed the previous series the Elenium, I looked forward to revisiting the world of Sparhawk and the Pandion Knights.
Here we meet up with old friends and new. I noticed a similar theme running through the Belgariad / Mallorean / and the Elenium, of the Noble Quest.
Would the differences between the Tamuli and what had gone before be enough to sustain my interest?
The answer was a resounding yes. Having bought the hardback editions of each book, the subsequent wait for the next edition to be published was excruciating.
The use of the Goddess as Sparhawk's daughter, and the way he found out about it and the subterfuge to keep this fact from his wife, was all very understandable in relation to what we knew of the character of Ehlana.
The most important part of the first series made a welcome return in the Tamuli. The political machinations of both Church and Country, and how they played against each other at times and were complimentary at others.
The comparison between Belgariad and Mallorean, and the Elenium and Tamuli, is that the Belgariad was better than the Mallorean, because you could see what was going to happen because of the pattern established and the reasoning behind it. That the accident that split the prophecies meant that events would reoccur.
But in the Elenium / Tamuli, that wasn't the case because even the Gods couldn't tell what Sparhawk was going to do, because he was Anakha and outside of Prophecy.
I especially liked the use of the fake castle that the Tamuli reconstructed, without knowing what it was actually used for.
All the characters were well defined, and the interplay between Sparhawk, his wife and "daughter" was always fun to read. (Especially how they twisted him round their little fingers)
This is how good fantasy writing should be.
Submitted by hassan pervez
i started reading this series from book 2. its the only one i could find really and i didn't expect it to be too great. Ofcourse i was very wrong. This book turned out to be the best fantasy book i have ever read.Its a pretty lengthy book but it felt like i finished it in no time and it just left me wanting more. The only drawback i can really see is that three books just aren't enough. David eddings has created a wonderful world that you just cant get enough of. He has proven that fantasy writing can be just as mature as any other. There is a great number of characters involved but once you get into the plot you know them all only too well. The basic theme revolves around the knights, particularly sparhawk. The story carries a vary interesting twist as sparhawks adopted dayghter happens to be a godess, but not many are aware of it, much less her own mother...
Despite of all the deaths, kidnapping, fierce out-of-world creatures, david has managed to keep the plot light and amusing. I found myself falling in love with all the characters(with a few obvious exceptions) and their lives, especially the all-wise saphire rose. The tamuli saga is truly a classic and a must read, one of the best stories ever told and the way david tells it, you find yourself forgetting its just a story.
Submitted by Sparhawk
In my opinion this saga is the best from David Eddings and from the fantasy-genre in general.
It is sequel to "Ellenium", another great series by Eddings, but, unlike to "Malloreon"(to "Belgariad"|,it is better than the prelude. The main character is sir Sparhawk, legendary knight, slayer of the evil god Azash. Now he again is in the middle of the action and faces new dread enemies-this time in the strange Tamul Empire.
The typical Eddings-humour here is "on top" and the adventures are much more interesting than in the other series by David(and not only). The characters are great, great, especially qyeen Ehlana, my favourite female-character from the fantasy.
And the book 3, "The Hidden City" is really awesome-with this saga Eddings proves that he s the best!
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