Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: Triumff: Her Majesty's Hero

Book Details
Title: Triumff: Her Majesty's Hero (Angry Robot) 
Author: Dan Abnett
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 416 
Publishing Info: Angry Robot, September, 2010

My Review
Why I read it: received review copy
The Plot: I really have no idea how to describe the plot to this one, and since I like the synopsis on the publishers website, I'll just post that here: 
Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero is a ribald historical fantasy set in a warped clockwork-powered version of our present day … a new Elizabethan age, not of Elizabeth II but in the style of the original Virgin Queen. Throughout its rollicking pages, Sir Rupert Triumff drinks, dines and duels his way into a new Brass Age of Exploration and Adventure.  Find more about the book HERE.
The Characters: You know, the characters are so secondary to the plot that they're almost not worth mentioning.  There's quite a variety of characters, but the reader has no idea what motivates them, what they're thinking or anything.  It's all very surface stuff with the characters.
The Setting: This is England in 2010, but it doesn't feel anything like the one we know.  Because of Magick, there is really no technology, at least not where the story takes place.  Again, the plot drives the story, so while there are some (long) passages of place descriptions, like two pages describing a lodge, the world building overall is fairly minimal. 
A sample of the writing:
Some fourteen miles west of the Palace, the timbered Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park shook with the sound of tramping boots and yapping bow-hounds, those robust, lugubrious, liver-spotted retrievers from Abyssinia, noted for their reliability as hunting dogs, their extensive dewlaps, and their copious spittle.  "Drooling like a fine bow" is a common expression across the Unity.  Almost every physical aspect of a bow-hound seems to loll.
Who Should Read This? I have only read one book by Terry Pratchett, but from what I've seen around, fans of Pratchett should really like Triumff.  If you're into humorous fantasy, this might be for you. 
Final Thoughts: There were parts of this book that made me laugh, a few bits of action that I really enjoyed, but for the most part the style is just not for me.  It felt like the story got sidetracked at least once every page, so that we were given the history of every character, every place, some of the props--in great detail.  I think there's definitely an audience for this kind of story, but I generally wouldn't count myself among them.
Grade: C
Cover Thoughts: I love the cover.  It's quite possibly my favorite thing about the book.  I love that we have Triumff on the front, looking like the swashbuckling hero that he is, and we even have a swordfight.  It fits the story very well.

1 comment:

  1. Abnett seems to be one of those hit or miss authors. People love him or hate him...I've only read his contribution to the Doctor Who series of books...and it was okay, not stellar.