Sunday, March 20, 2011

Swords of the Six by Scott Appleton

Six masters of six swords, five turned but one stayed true. Murder has stained the clean blades designed to protect the land. When the strongest of the men fall, when there is no known hope for their world, a lone dragon and prophet are secretly hoping that the dragon's offspring will save their world.  Six dragon daughters in human flesh, who have a sixth sense, through them their world must be saved.
When I heard about this book a year ago I wanted to read it, back then the basic idea sounded cool to me. Was I ever wrong! I know as a reviewer I should stick to, "If you can't say anything nice don't say it at all", well I got this book from Living Ink Publishers so I have to write this review.
Dantress, is the youngest of the six dragon sisters. She is the special child, she is more powerful than her sisters, she is the favorite of their father, so she never got in trouble for breaking the rules, she is the only one who can save the world. This didn't flow at all, Scott, as a male, didn't write a good female main character, I didn't connect with Dantress at all.
There are also all her sisters, even at the end of the book I still didn't know who was who. I knew Carithra was the oldest and Dantress the youngest, other than that I couldn't tell you a thing about the other sisters. The only character that was okay I felt was a minor character, Specter.
Appleton did something that drove me nuts. Swords of the Six has useless information, a lot of it. I didn't need to know the seating arrangement of the room, or the family ties of people who don't show up in the book again. Or, even though I loved the fairies, that the fairy tree has four families in it and that such and such race is unique because of blah blah blah.
Also one page is repeated three times. Like Appleton literally copy and pasted one page three times. I just skipped that page after the first time. It wasn’t a publishing error, but it did save me from reading two more pages of this book.
The plot was choppy at best, the first 100 pages had no long lasting plot. A war, girls getting raised, trip to the woods ect. I felt like in the first 100 pages at least 20 could have been cut out. The next 100 pages were the best, the girls are sent on a lone mission. They meet challenges and battled, all in all it was good. Then of the last 100 pages, at least 50 of those pages could have been cut. It was a useless battle, and background information that could have waited to be learned in the next book. There was so much filler and by product in this book that I lost track of the plot idea, it was almost non-existent.
What there was of the plot was also full of mystery and prophecies. Much wasn’t clarified.  I spent pages going, "Huh? What is going on here?", "What is the point of that?", and "What just happened?". It wasn't described properly.  What needed insight was left dark, and useless info was made painfully clear. Some chapters I just gave up trying to understand.
The world was the only thing that Scott got half way right, a few neat creatures, a couple interesting lands, but it was all shadowed by the rest of the book. He also had things that made me literally stop and laugh. I think hunting with swords, waffles in a fantasy land, sword fighting in dresses, learning sword fighting with sharp swords, and birds doing the dishes are just a little out there. (even for fantasy)
This book was so hard to read that I read it in 2-10 page sittings, and then I would treat myself with dessert, or a game, or another good book before I would continue reading this book. Appleton is said to have a unique writing style. True. Unique by how bad it was. I don’t know if I am going to read the next book in this series.