The Redemption of Althalus

Althalus was a thief; he was probably the best thief in the world. And this fantasy story book is all about his adventures. Or it should be about his adventures, but a few things went wrong. That might seem normal for any story worth writing about. But a few things went wrong with writing the book itself. Which makes it either a bad book, or an interesting one. It depends on your point of view.

The idea of the storyline is quite intriguing. Fantasy writing with gods and magic makes good reading anytime. But The Redemption of Althalus failed to deliver for me. There are several reasons, why it went wrong in my eyes. I still managed to read the book through from cover to end, which means it's not a total write off. But my reason for reading might not have been the one intended by David and Leigh Eddings when they penned the book. I was hunting mistakes.

What hit me in the face all over the book were the repetitions. Yes, part of the plot is the rewriting of history, but that doesn't mean the authors had to repeat the same stories over and over. And some of the repetitions were just pages apart. A few pages apart with the fatal feeling that whole chapters had been cut out. The book in the printed form gives you the feeling that it was laid out and written as a five part series of books. And then someone took a very big carving knife and cut it down to one book. Whoever did it was no surgeon. The jumps are clearly visible.

The reason why it was slashed down was probably because it was all wrong. Magic got out of hand. The goddess Dweia playing support act to Althalus was endowed with unlimited power. And she ran a house with doors to every where and every when. And thereby derailed the plot of the book to the point of becoming irritating. There are many actions played out at length crucial to the story that make absolutely no sense anymore, once you know it could be done differently.

Once you get irritated with a book, there is probably no end to being irritated. The jokes and the humor in the book is uninspiring. Many of the jokes fall into water because the whole build up was slashed out when shortening it down to size. Some of the jokes become completely incomprehensible. Add to this all the instances where the wrong person says something, and you see why readers might become hunters.

The Redemption of Althalus by David and Leigh Eddings is available on Kindle. For the casual reader, there are better books, but it would still be good enough for a rainy weekend. For anybody who wants to dabble in fantasy writing, it is an absolutely must read. This is how it is not done. If ever you were under the illusion that fantasy writing means that no rules apply, learn what happens if you do that. Fantasy writing needs even tighter rules than reality.

Further reading
Magic is Dangerous
The Little Prince
Jim Button and Luke The Engine Driver