In all fairness, I hadn't realized it was a romance when I picked it up, but then when I got home I realized the author was a romance author. I threw caution to the wind though, in the spirit of reading new things, and decided why not?
So I read it. It was the most bewildering thing I've ever read. Not to mention hilarious. And, here's the kicker, in a way, an extremely fascinating study into a realm of escapist romance that I had previously had little experience.
To start with, the plot in this book was...odd. In that it was kind of hard to follow. Not that it was complex, oh no, far from it, but rather it kept sorta...disappearing. No lie. Even the characters kept forgetting about it, to the point that I had to remind themselves why they were on a quest in the first place. Then, the male MC would come up with charmingly convenient and silly reasons to stay with the company so that the author could build more romance time. I didn't buy it, but at the same time I was fascinated by how ballsy the author was to say "Hey, I know this is cliche and contrived, but I'm going to write it anyway, just for fun."
What was absolutely bewildering though was that the plot would resurface at random times and we would suddenly be reminded, that, oh yeah, there was an antagonist! And our "heroes" were in danger because bad guys would randomly ambush them.
Now this was okay though, because the fight scenes would only last one sentence. And they would read, I kid you not, "They dispatched them all easily."
Any good fantasy would take more time on a fight scene like that. Not only because its important to the plot but because it helps build tension and danger and makes you want to turn the page. In a romance, I suppose, its not so much the danger that's the page turner, but the love story that makes you want to keep reading, so you don't have to spend as much time with the fight scene.
Still I expected more than such a, ah, descriptive sentence.
The descriptions were another thing that was bizarre in that there weren't many of them. The evil attacking creatures were only described as 'not quite humanoid.' Having no way to visualize these enemies I just imagined they were banana slugs.
|FEAR ME!! photo credit|
The MCs were also not described, which I thought odd, but then I realized that perhaps this was purposely done so that the reader could project themselves and the man of their choice in the lead roles.
The weirdest thing was the ending because there was absolutely no resolution to anything. I know this is part of a trilogy, but nothing was resolved and the characters were right back where they started. Which was even weirder for the non existent plot because you'd think, since nothing had been done to stop the antagonist, the kingdom would be in worse shape than it started out. But it wasn't. It was perfectly fine. Which makes no sense for me as a fan of logic.
The book did end however with the male and female MC not getting along, so clearly you need to read the next book in the trilogy to see how they make up.
Normally, books like this would annoy me, but I realized that this book wasn't necessarily supposed to be good. It is just supposed to be simply escapist literature. And in its own way it was charming in its silliness.
And here's the kicker: I'm going to read the rest of the trilogy. Not because it was good, not because I'm taken by the romance (which is pretty cringeworthy), not because I like the characters, but because it is the most baffling and perplexing story I have ever read. It does things I would never ever do in writing, nor do I value in good books. But I have to see what other random things happen. I have to see if the fight scenes get shorter, I want to know if the villains are described. I have to know if there is ever an ending or if more random nonsense happens.
Reading this book is like venturing into a foreign land full of humor and nonsense. I can't see what happens next