Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Returner's Wealth (Wyrmeweald Trilogy)

Title: Returner's Wealth
Author: Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell
Series: Wyrmeweald Trilogy

Succeeded By: ????


Score: 5/10
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: If I find the time - it won't be a priority...


If you've read anything by these authors in the past, chances are that it's the Edge Chronicles. That was an incredible series, beautifully illustrated, which is still one of my favourite sequences. Wyrmeweald however, is completely different.

The first, and most striking point is that there is a considerably smaller number of illustrations than I was expecting. There is still at least one per chapter, but they are Narrow Borders to the page, and there ARE some full page drawings of the dragons, but I would have liked to see more.

The reason for this reduced number of drawings is that the book is clearly aimed at an older audience, it's a little more violent, and quite a bit more sexual. And I thought that the more sexual parts were done quite well, not actually describing anything in detail, but hints of adult activities are found across the book.

But as a more adult book, it seems that the authors have taken a completely different style. While the penchant for made up words remains, they are often complicated and I gave up trying to figure out what they meant after a while. But what is even more confusing is the non-linear narrative of the story. Chapter one sees the main character thirsty in the Wyrmeweald. The second, with no warning whatsoever, finds him in his home village. Then back to the desert in the third. This continues for a while, irregularly, and happens less and less as the book goes on. But it's really quite annoying. For the first half of the book I was convinced I would have to give the book a score of around 1/10. But fortunately it got better after the character Eli was introduced properly (not counting his encounter with the seemingly pointless character Ichabod).

And that's the strong point of this book, the characters. Thrace, introduced fairly late in the book, is probably my favourite character, although something happens with her wyrme that was extremely underdeveloped. And that's the main thing with this book I think, underdevelopment. There is too much that needs more explanation, or at least familiarisation.

Overall, while the story was interesting, it style was choppy and confusing. The characters were good, but interactions between them not always the best. Anyone who has read the Edge Chronicles should be warned that this is completely different, but should maybe give it a go.

More Information

Main Protagonist(s): Primarily male, later a female.
Main Antagonist(s): Three men, Two Women
Main Relationships: Heterosexual
Genre: Fantasy
Brief Synopsis:

Young pioneer, Micah, enters Wrymeweald full of hope to return home having made his fortune. But this is a land where wyrmes, fabulous dragon-like beasts, roam wild and reign supreme. In Wyrmeweald man is both hunter and hunted – and seventeen-year-old Micah may never return alive, let alone a hero…

After a near-brush with death on the edge of a canyon, Micah soon finds a chance to prove his worth when he meets with Eli, a veteran tracker of Wrymeweald. They choose to defend a rare whitewyrme egg and its precious hatchling before it falls into the hands of a band of evil Kith. But the fledgling wyrme has its own guardian in the shape of the beautiful, brave and dangerous Thrace. 

Thrace, a Kin and a highly-skilled wyrme rider-assasin; and Micah, a would-be Kith, should never mix - but the magnetism between them is strong. Together they join forces on a mission to rescue the hatchling and seek vengenace for loved-ones lost at the hand of Kith bandits. Meanwhile the glorious whitewyrme colony of Wyrmeweald looks on as its land is encroached by gold-diggers and ravaged by bounty hunters. Is Exodus the only option? And if so, when - and where - will they flee too?

ISBN: 978-0385617338
Amazon Link: UK (Not Available on US Amazon)
Pages: 416
First Published: April 2010
Publisher: Doubleday

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