Thursday, July 21, 2011
Book Review of #1 Firstborn by Paul B Thompson and Tonya R Carter
Author Name: Paul B Thompsons, Tonya R Carter
Part of a Series: The Elven Nations Trilogy: The Kinslayer Wars next, The Qualinesti afterwards
Publisher: TSR INC
Type of book: Young adult-Adult, fantasy-historical
Year it was published: 1991
Silvanos, the august founder of the united elven nation known as Silvanesti, is dead and buried in a crystal tomb. The leadership of the clans and households has fallen to his son, Sithel, who is himself father of twin sons. The princes Sithas and Kith-Kanan represent emerging factions among these elves: Kith-Kanan is the leader of the Wildrunners, a group of elves that stirs tension by forging contacts and trade with the humans of Ergoth; Sithas closely allies himself with the court in the elven capital. The rivalry between kin climaxes with their father's mysterious death. When Kith-Kanan is vaguely implicated, Sithas, the firstborn twin, is enthroned.
The characters seem to be drawn a little too second dimensionally. That is, nothing beyond the obvious is revealed about them. If the authors were trying to re-create an elven version of Caramon and Raistlin, they seem to have failed. While the story and the book are a bit interesting, especially the culture of the Silvanesti, the rest of the characters also seem to be a bit flat, and I also think there is no suspense in it, until the last few chapters of the book.
I'm honestly not sure what lessons could be learned from reading the book. While there were problems of political nature and something that could be applied to real life, such as the treatment of the immigrants and worries about "polluting" the blood stream, there is no resolution the mentioned problems.
This is written from third point of view omniscient of sorts, focusing on the shifting points of view from Kith-Kanan to Sithas, sometimes briefly going to other characters. Despite the chapters, I still feel that I don't understand either of the characters well. What I know is that Sithas follows by the rules and is nationalistic, while Kith-Kanan is an adventurer and breaks the 'purity' rules. In beginning the two cared for one another, but I guess on Kith-Kanan's end, as soon as Sithas marries the girl Kith-Kanan loves, the feelings kind of dim.
Paul B THompson: Paul B. Thompson (born 1958) is a freelance writer and novelist. He has published twenty books to date, many of which are novels set in the Dragonlance fictional universe. A number of these novels are co-authored with Tonya C. Cook.(From amazon.)
Tonya R Carter: N/A
This is the second time I've tried reading this book. Second time around, and in my mid-twenties, this is much more enjoyable. What I've enjoyed about reading it is that it rotated between Sithas' and Kith-Kanan's point of view. I also saw somewhat both of the twins grow up. What I didn't like is that neither of their motivations are clearly explained, nor of their feelings for one another. By the way, the summary is from the last few chapters and is not the entire book.
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)