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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pulp Writer review

Jonathan Moeller reviews The Last Witchking:
Last year, I read A THRONE OF BONES by Vox Day, and thought it was one of the more interesting new epic fantasy novels I’ve read. The author was kind enough to send me an advance copy of THE LAST WITCHKING, a group of three short stories set in A THRONE OF BONES’S setting of Selenoth. Specifically, THE LAST WITCHKING, THE HOBLETS OF WICCAM FENSBORO, and OPERA VITA AETERNA.

The first story deals with the titular LAST WITCHKING, and provides an origin story for one of the villains in A THRONE OF BONES. In Selenoth, the “Witchkings” were the pejorative name for a race of extremely powerful sorcerers that once ruled and tyrannized much of the world. The elves eventually destroyed the witchkings, but before they did, the last two witchkings conceived a child and hid him among the humans, intending that child to be the instrument of vengeance upon their enemies....

[T]he Selenoth books are a welcome breath of fresh air. SF/F publishing has become too ossified and moribund (science fiction and fantasy are supposed to be the literature of the speculative, yet every writer these days seems to have the exact same standard-issue SWPL worldview) so books from a writer who is capable of regarding organized religion as something other than a peculiar superstition practiced by the peasantry are most welcome.
It's always interesting to see which of the three stories contained in Witchking are preferred by various readers.  I also find it amusing that people who haven't read Hoblets assume it is some sort of Shire ripoff - somewhat ironic in light of how Robert Jordan admitted he was intentionally ripping off The Shire in the first book of The Wheel of Time - whereas those who have read it have expressed some degree of frustration at the way in which it is not even possible to identify what they are.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Amigo May 12, 2013 11:18 AM  

Not hobbits. Something closer to boggies.

Anonymous Dick D May 12, 2013 11:27 AM  

An application of Godwin's Law for Fantasy authors?

Blogger GF Dad May 12, 2013 11:33 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Hector May 12, 2013 12:38 PM  

What is SWPL?

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo May 12, 2013 1:15 PM  

SWPL is "Stuff White People Like"; it refers to the progressive, equalitarian values that many middle- and upper-class white Americans hold. The website that originated the term is here.

Anonymous YIH May 12, 2013 1:17 PM  

@Hector:
Stuff White People Like - around here we call them rabbits

Anonymous Jill May 12, 2013 1:24 PM  

A Hoblet sounds like something you'd put on the grill.

Anonymous jm May 12, 2013 2:13 PM  

It really should be SWUPL, though - Stuff White Urban People Like.

Anonymous Jim C. May 12, 2013 2:28 PM  

Looks like Dimwit Dan is continuing his passive aggressive crusade over there...

Anonymous VD May 12, 2013 2:54 PM  

Everyone needs a hobby. But I'm a little hurt he wasn't inspired by my tribute to his classic work and the Greatest Swordswoman of Catatonia.

Blogger Nate May 12, 2013 3:19 PM  

Hrm.. I confess.. I figured the hobs were something akin to tiny gnomes like creatures... and were hated by the orcs because they looks more like humans and had more human type behaviors.

Blogger Nate May 12, 2013 3:20 PM  

What I don't get is... why do you need the author to tell you what a hob is? Its a hob. It is whatever pops into your mind while you're reading.

if you're incapable of employing your imagination for such things... oh well. There is always Harry Potter.

Anonymous DrRansom May 12, 2013 3:50 PM  

"I also find it amusing that people who haven't read Hoblets assume it is some sort of Shire ripoff - somewhat ironic in light of how Robert Jordan admitted he was intentionally ripping off The Shire in the first book of The Wheel of Time - whereas those who have read it have expressed some degree of frustration at the way in which it is not even possible to identify what they are."

I didn't have that problem with the hoblets at all - I think it's because you didn't call them "hobbits". I was able to let them be whatever I imagined them to be, and that was fine. No frustration about not having their every detail described to me at all.

The goblins, on the other hand, were much more difficult for me to reconcile against years of past renderings of goblins. It was tough to see goblins as creatures of courage and/or moral integrity. I wonder if I would have had this issue of incongruence if they were not named as goblins.

Anonymous Mudz May 12, 2013 9:35 PM  

It's a Hobbit Piglet, obviously.

Anonymous szook May 13, 2013 12:59 PM  

So I took the hobgoblin route...but that was weird as from my D&D days that would reverse the typical relationship between hobgoblins and goblins as the D&D world hobgoblin is a larger stronger thing than a goblin.

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