Monday, March 28, 2005

[Book Review] Prophecy by Elizabeth Haydon

Finding its predecessor ho hum, I didn’t have high hopes for Prophecy. Still, it was an enjoyable read nonetheless and Haydon had built on something in the previous book. I was curious as to how the story would develop and whether there would be an improvement in Haydon’s writing style or storytelling.

Suffice to say, Prophecy is fairly consistent with the book that preceded it, Rhapsody. This novel is your standard fare of romance fantasy along with the tropes of an outdated genre, from love at first sight, romance, prophecy, and destiny. It’s not really my cup of tea although I’m sure there’s a market for it.

The story was mediocre. Some thing went as expected, others with a hint of surprise here and there. In the end, Haydon follows the same formula she did for Rhapsody, and there’s really not much deviation in this book. There’s more poetry at the start of the novel though. One thing in which it could have improved upon though was the inclusion of an appendix. Unlike other thick Tor novels, this novel didn’t have an appendix at the end and it would have been helpful to have had one, especially in tracking down the various characters in the story.

Despite all the cons against Haydon, she still does manage to write a compelling narrative. Description is still her strongest point, and while perhaps it’s not as excellent as say George R. R. Martin or Sean Russel, it’s still above the generic fare of fantasy that’s out in the market. Haydon’s descriptive talent is probably along the lines of other Tor-published authors like Robert Jordan and Jacqueline Carey.

While it was a good read, Prophecy isn’t really something I’m keen on. If you like formula in your reading material, then you’ll probably like Haydon. Again, the target market of this book is those who are really into the romance fantasy genre. And despite the premise of three main characters, the book is really about the stubborn heroine, Rhapsody, and the rest behave more like supporting characters. If that’s your thing, be my guest. Just don’t expect anything breathtaking or innovative in this particular fantasy series.

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