Read Inda by Sherwood Smith Free Online
Book Title: Inda|
The author of the book: Sherwood Smith
Date of issue: August 1st 2006
ISBN 13: 9780756402648
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 433 KB
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 3.5
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have to say up-front that I found two things about this book off-putting. First and foremost, Smith uses a third-person omniscient voice; I think it's fair to say that this POV is rarely used today, and there's a good reason for that. We get plenty of third person limited omniscient in which the point of view shifts between various characters but only changes perspective from one scene to another. I found Smith's jumping around mid-scene to be, at times, hard to follow.
Likewise hard to follow, at least at first, were the names. The problem is that each character typically is referred to in three different ways: a common name, a nickname, and a title. Particularly as the scope widened and more characters were brought in, this could be confusing as I at times found myself desperately searching my brain to remember whether so-and-so was the same as such-and-such or someone else entirely. A lot of epic fantasy has started offering a dramatis personae listing the main characters with a description that is brief enough to avoid giving away the plot yet descriptive enough to help the reader follow along easily.
Now, those things said, Sherwood Smith does an excellent job of telling a story. I could hardly put the book down while I was reading it (that was several weeks ago, when I still had time on my hands somehow) and I'm desperately looking forward to having time to read the next volume in the series.
First and foremost, it's the characters and relationships that carry the novel. Smith does an excellent job of creating a variety of characters about whom we care and in whom we take an interest. The characters interactions are often complex. For that matter, so is the world of political intrigue and varied cultures, all of which have a distinct foreignness about them in their values, yet they are drawn so skillfully that we absolutely believe their reality and want to explore their complexity.
For better or for worse, Smith is not afraid to kill off major characters. I'm torn on this: on the one hand, as a reader, you hate to lose characters in whom you have invested; on the other, one sometimes gets a feeling of unreality when huge battles are happening or dangerous political intrigues are underway and all the characters you like make it through unscathed. The end result is both a narrative that feels more real and a narrative in which something is really at stake. In some (particularly fantasy) novels, one gets the sense that all the main characters are virtually immortal: oh, they may have some setbacks and difficulties accomplishing their goals, but in the end everything will turn out all right and the good guys will live happily ever after. Well, not in the world of Inda they don't. We get the sense that the title character might, and a few others seem like they'll have to make it through to the end, but then again, Smith has set things up such that every character seems vulnerable, and thus the danger always seems real. It's a good effect she's got going there.
It occurs to me that I didn't say anything about the plot or subject matter. The obvious comparison that came to mind was to say that it is Ender's Game in a fantasy milieu, but that's a gross oversimplification. The title character, Inda, is a natural leader and strategic thinker who goes off to his country's military academy. However, he's not the same sort of raw genius that Ender is, nor is the story confined to his experience in the academy, though that makes up a significant part of the action. There is, inherent in Inda, a coming-of-age story, but it's also more than that. Inda goes from innocence to experience, and the narrative builds in a similar fashion, as the political and cultural complexity of Smith's world gradually unfolds.
In short, it was good. I liked it, despite the flaws noted above.
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Read information about the authorI am a writer, but I'm here on Goodreads to talk about books, as I've been a passionate reader as long as I've been a writer--since early childhood.
I'm not going to rate books--there are too many variables. I'd rather talk about the reading experience. My 'reviews' of my books are confined to the writing process.
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