The Forsaken Earth; Paul Kearney, 2006; Bantam Books
Last week I shared my views on “The Mark of Ran: Book One of The Sea Beggar’s” and how impressed I was with the author’s use of words and ability to create characters and worlds that actually make the reader, part and parcel of it. Like Norman McClean of “A River Runs Through It”, Kearney’s level of creative literature is not often seen.
Now for book two – “The Forsaken Earth”. Again the author swept me off my literary feet with descriptive pictures of sailing, pirates and….war. Yes this one was full of war – fact is it was mostly war. And people dying and guns shooting and swords swording and lots of other things that, if truth to tell I, who can’t even bring myself to watch a documentary on WWII, had to wade through in order to finish the book.
So was I disappointed that Kearney wrote so much about death and dying and the senseless carnage that comes with men playing with dangerous toys? No. Again he didn’t use more terminology than my mind could absorb, neither did he spend anymore time on what was obviously a very pivotal part of the series than was necessary in order to establish that things are about to undergo a cataclysmic change.
He also appeased my never-ending need to know that at some point in the third book, my thirst for revenge will be assuaged.
So if you liked the The Mark of Ran, grab a cold one and read The Forsaken Earth – but be ready to get really ticked off when you find out that you’ll have to wait for the ending. Why? Because the corporate monolith called Publishing ( namely Bantam Books) did a very naughty thing: they dropped the author and refused to release the rights to the series (until just recently).
Don’t know about you but when I read that I got a very bad case of; “The Injustice of Screwed Author’s”. Like the implied ending to Sea Beggar’s, my natural blood lust for vengeance took a turn for the worst. The very notion that publisher’s hold authors work hostage is beyond belief – and even worse, we let them.
How does that continue to happen?
Anyway, I will save my rant on the topic of “Literary Hostage’s” for another post. Suffice it to say that Solaris Books managed to get the right’s to the book released and expects to have the third and final novel sometime soon. Yeah for Solaris.
On my readers scale of 1-5 stars I’m giving “The Forsaken Earth” 3.5 stars for story and Kearney 4 for being such a good chap and not writing nasty things about badly behaving publishers.