While I was in between temp jobs, I gobbled down one of Beth’s favorite fantasy series The Wayfarer Redemption series by Sara Douglas. I should start by saying that I only read the first three of the series because the six books should really be treated like two separate trilogies. I don’t usually like reading books that people strongly recommend or they say is their favorite because I don’t want to tell them that I didn’t like it. I ran into this problem with the Sookie Stackhouse series. My sister thought I’d love them, so she bought me the whole box set for Christmas. I managed to struggle through three of them before I couldn’t take it anymore and lied politely to my sister at the dinner table, saying “I enjoyed them.” It wasn’t a total lie. I enjoyed taking a red pen to them…
But since we live together and have a whole room devoted to our book collections, I knew that I’d have to read some of her favs. And I trust her judgment more than most people because we’ve read a lot of the same things and have similar opinions on them. And even if our thoughts differ, she remembers and will make recommendations on my preferences and not hers.
I loved these books. Couldn’t put them down. They kept me guessing and throwing random theories at Beth (who never told me if I was right or not because she feels like that’s cheating. She also is appalled that I sometimes read the last page first, but again, different rant for a different post). One main character is very likable and a very dynamic character. Another main character… eh not so much. He is kind of a dick the whole series and a static character in my opinion, and that’s me being nice. I don’t really think you’re meant to like him. He’s not quite a Byronic hero, because that would mean that he actually had a plan and meant to be all dark and twisty and non-conventional as he saved the world. No offense, but he’s just not that smart or crafty. I feel so bad for the other main character. Sometimes, one character gets shit on the most but in the end everything turns out alright and s/he is just mildly damaged for the rest of his/her life but still able to be slightly normal and happy. Like Frodo–he goes through Hell and back and has the worst of luck, but at least he sort of gets peace at the end. No, this ending is not like that. One character just keeps getting the rough end of the bargain. I’m still not sure how I feel about that.
I would highly recommend the first three books of this series. Lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing, an epic setting with lots of characters, provinces, and politics. Women characters played just as important a part as men characters. Definitely a must read series for the epic fantasy lover.