Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Sight - Why the only fantasy fiction I will read is the LOTR.

"... before they did any of this they looked out on the universe and they were glad at what they saw...for in the beginning, there was light."- David Clement-Davies, The Sight.

New drinking game: Take a shot every time the word ‘growled’ is mentioned in the book and you may be drunk enough to pass out, which is not a bad way to read this book. But the thing that truly bugs me is that ‘The Sight’ isn’t a bad book, it’s just a badly written book.

In a manner of typical of fantasy fiction, the story speaks a wolf legend. The legend often passed around that a children’s (pups?) fable speaks of the power of sight; a power which allows its bearer to view the world through birds and animals, to gaze in water and see not his reflection but the past, the future and the present, to control the minds of all animals. Once it is established that the protagonist Larka is indeed one to fit the legend and inevitably change the course of fate, she and her family travel across Transylvania in order to survive the coming winter. This story outlines their journey, as individuals and as a pack, both emotionally and physically. As stories go, this one has a villain, a she wolf by the name of Morgra. 

It sounds like a pretty good plot doesn’t it? A bit cliché with the legend told in rhyming poetry but still full of action, quests, fights and a dash of soul searching, a maturity that comes with being the chosen one. The fault of this story lies in its execution. The idea often comes across as garbled. There are several mistakes from conceptual ones like Wolf Language (which is essentially English, and also how can the birds use it?) to plain old typing errors. There are loopholes and the solution to most of them is ‘deux ex machina’. It is obvious that the family we are following is in fact the family in question but a good part of the book is spent asking the question – are we really the family of the legend, perhaps in order to build a suspense that serves no purpose. One third of the book relies on miscommunication and secrets, with no viable reason for them to be a secret. A lot characters are introduced simultaneously, making it hard to keep track or feel attached to any of them. It also gives the feeling of congestion.

The characters are predictable and set in tropes. The most interesting character is Morgra, the villain. Her allure lies in her past and the mysteries it holds. Another favorite is Palla who maintains a delicate balance between being maternal and fierce, who refuses to accept domesticity but doesn’t stop caring for her children. Larka starts as shy and scared and slowly transforms into brave, confident with the abilities of a leader and comes to terms with sacrifice. Her character arc is lot like Harry Potter (excluding Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix). 

To be fair, the Sight does a beautiful job creating imagery. A lot of the book is set in winter, among forests, fields and old ruins which is a sight for the mind’s inner eye. David Clement-Davies creates fables and traditions for the wolves, a new set of lingo and makes the civilization of wolves a real possibility. I would recommend for those between the age of 10- 15 and rate 3/5.

No comments:

Post a Comment