Eddings' Heir Apparent, Alas

In spite of David Eddings' popularity, I never read more than a portion of the first Mallorean book.

What kept me from continuing wasn't the story itself, but several stylistic tics of Eddings' writing that kept jarring me out of the actual story. In Eddings' case, it was running across repeated instances of starting a paragraph with "However," or "Unfortunately,". These were not only unnecessary words, but they were the author's voice intruding on the story.

It was sort of like going to a movie, only to have the rude kid sitting behind you keep kicking the back of your seat. After about forty or fifty pages of the first Eddings book, I put it down and never went back to the series again.

I have found the new Eddings, and the magic word this time around is "Now".
p.17: "Now Lord Hasha turned his attention toward me"
p.19: "Now Maram's knuckles grew white around his bow"
p.21: "Now Lord Hasha swallowed the last of his beer"
p.25: "Now both Lord Hasha and Asaru -- and Joshu Kadar as well -- looked at me in amazement"
p.38: "Now Asaru examined the arrow"
p.40: "Now a fire burned through me"
p.68: "Now my father looked at Asaru with puzzlement"

Which was about as far as I got. I don't object to starting a paragraph with "Now", when properly used. But my idea of proper use would be to use it when there's been a break in the narrative to refer to past events, and use "Now" as a time-check to restart the present-time flow of the narrative again. That didn't apply in any of the above instances.

(There's also a heck of a lot of "And then"s that, to a lesser extent, also kicked the back of my seat.)

So congratulations, David Zindell, The Lightstone wins you my judgement as "Heir apparent to David Eddings". (Out of context, that will make a great blurb for a paperback edition.)

(Endnote: I see from the copyright page of Tor's American edition that The Lightstone was originally published in England in 2001, and that "The Tor edition has been specially revised by the author." I will refrain from comment.)

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