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30 review for Endithor's Daughter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tim Martin

    Compared to the previous three entries it the series, this novel was rather atypical. I think it was well written, in some ways the best of the series, but it also doesn’t feel like the other three books at all. Some of the tropes from the previous three are absent or much subdued. The book takes places entirely inside the city of Shadizar (or just outside the city walls but essentially still in the city). The opening section has nothing to do with Red Sonja at all, which is typical for the seri Compared to the previous three entries it the series, this novel was rather atypical. I think it was well written, in some ways the best of the series, but it also doesn’t feel like the other three books at all. Some of the tropes from the previous three are absent or much subdued. The book takes places entirely inside the city of Shadizar (or just outside the city walls but essentially still in the city). The opening section has nothing to do with Red Sonja at all, which is typical for the series, but instead with politics in the city of Shadizar, of a rivalry between two nobles, the ruler Lord Count Nalor and his hated rival Lord Endithor. Very early on in the book Nalor and his soldiers basically force their way into Endithor’s home and discover him about to sacrifice his slave girl Lera in order to summon demons to destroy another noble in Shadizar, Lord Kus. Endithor is arrested, tried, and within 24 hours horribly executed in a both painful and barbaric manner, though it seems that quite possibly Endithor was framed by Nalor. Left behind are Endithor’s daughter, the title character (her name is Areel) and Lera, still her slave (along with other slaves on Areel’s staff). Areel wants revenges on both Nalor and Kus, while Kus and Nalor want to dispose of Areel at some point, though not with a public execution because there are limits to what they can get away with. Simple enough I suppose, but we get more people involved (I have noticed as the series goes on the supporting cast gets larger and larger). We meet Red Sonja playing darts (if by darts one means throwing knives, so I guess knives) with Sendes, a man who was a former lover of Areel (and still on good terms) and also currently works for Nalor (yeah that’s not awkward). Also a street urchin, I am gathering a young teen, by the name of Chost, who Sonja befriends (along with his friends, people who prove surprisingly helpful but also strangely perhaps show a motherly side to Sonja). Somehow all this connects with an almost film noirish series of double crosses and shifting alliances, people using other people, and oh by the way Kus is an ilorku, a vampire, and also a sorcerer because why not? The novel could have almost removed Red Sonja entirely and worked. It isn’t that Red Sonja had no part to play, she very much did, but for large sections of the book she isn’t the character driving the plot and many things Sonja did another character could have done. At times it is Sendes, or Areel, or Nalor or Lera, though as in the other books in the series Sonja is a catalyst, propelling other characters on and assisting them. Though it isn’t till later in the book, Sonja does take a character under her proverbial wing and help him grow (in this case Chost, though to a lesser extent she did so with Lera as well). There are two villains, as is the norm in this series, with Kus the major one. Also as in the other series, at least one of these is not killed by Sonja herself. No monsters or dangerous wildlife this time as secondary or tertiary obstacles but Kus himself is a monster. I don’t think Kus was really interesting until the end but he was a formidable opponent. The behavior and actions of the characters in the book seemed more nuanced than in the previous three books. Points for Areel, Endithor’s daughter, proving surprisingly complex and having a character arc. I think it moved a little fast and could have used some fleshing out but it was there. Also points for Nalor being a somewhat sympathetic villain too. Overall the tertiary characters were pretty well fleshed out I thought. Not as violent or as gory in terms of graphic description as the last book but a bit more sexual, with the opening scene with Lera being sacrificed she is nude, in passing at least one reference to nude slave girls (just that, that they were nude in a public setting), and Sonja apparently sleeps undressed and when confronted with unexpected visitors only puts on a sword (to be fair, if one suspects vampires that might be a good call). No sex or romance scenes though a bit more gawking at Sonja than is usual for the series (and not just when nude). No romantic subplot either for Sonja though for a time it looked like it might be with Sendes, sorry if that is spoiler territory. Not as much swordplay but a lot more sorcery this time around. Also a higher death count for characters too. Not bad, I can see finishing out the series though I might take a break, having just recently finished the third novel in the series before reading _Endithor's Daughter_.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hui Lang

    I give this 2 out of 5 stars and let’s start with where the book fails. Okay, this is kind of important, so please pay attention to this part. Your story’s plot should involve the main character. This book didn’t. Red Sonja literally doesn’t do much throughout the entire book. She’s just an observer when she arrives in the city of Shadizar and is trying to find work. The first half of the book doesn’t feature much of her at all compared to the other characters who dominate the story with their po I give this 2 out of 5 stars and let’s start with where the book fails. Okay, this is kind of important, so please pay attention to this part. Your story’s plot should involve the main character. This book didn’t. Red Sonja literally doesn’t do much throughout the entire book. She’s just an observer when she arrives in the city of Shadizar and is trying to find work. The first half of the book doesn’t feature much of her at all compared to the other characters who dominate the story with their politics. This book is only 217 pages long and Red doesn’t join in the fun until page 146, so over half the book is her not doing much. She’s in a few scenes where she beats the crap out of street urchins who try to gut her in an alleyway, mouths off to a local Councilman and his sorcerer, and gets into a slight scuffle with a witch hellbent on revenge against other people, but she’s detached from the main plot which is a woman plans her revenge against a politician for setting her father up while a fouler evil stalks the streets. But aside from that, even in the climax, she doesn’t really take the lead until the end. POV kept switching. This was a problem because we’re dealing with a Councilman’s task and then we’re in his manservant’s POV, who then switched to someone else. This tripped me up in several places. Dry characters. No one was really interesting. No one had a backstory until we reached toward the climax, but by then, their backstories became a distraction instead of building them up. Bland prose. Smith and Tierney don’t really use any until we get to the climax. There, they started with outstanding descriptions, good action, and an epic feel at the end, but throughout most of the book, it was tepid to non-existent. Okay, here’s what I liked about it. Good climax. All the characters came together and shit goes south with setbacks. It didn’t add too much tension because the book is short, but the authors painted a vivid picture. This is where they also used good prose to describe the action, making the story feel like sword and sorcery. Red Sonja is a very enlightened character. Now if you look at the Boris Vallejo cover, you see a woman with big tits in a chainmail bikini. This is NOT the character at all in the book. She wears a full suit of chainmail. She can read. She’s not quick to draw blood unless it involves sorcery (which she distrusts with a hatred). She is merciful and engages in philosophical thoughts that shows her powerful sense of empathy toward others. She’s a woman in a man’s world, but when someone insults her with misogynistic comments, she takes the high road and doesn’t meet their words with violence. The authors clarify that those who say such bullshit are ignorant assholes. But she has big tits (the authors brought it up twice). Anyone can use sorcery, but it corrupts. Sorcery is easy to practice, get a hold of, and practice without a tutor. However, once a person casts spells, they are corrupted, for most sorcery is powered through demonic influence. Most sorcery is dark too. Overall, the good did not outweigh the bad. I have another Red Sonja book (#6 The Star of Doom) written by the same guys. I may read it just to see where the train wreck goes, but right now, I’ll pick something else.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joe Santoro

    I definitely didn't like this one as much as the previous installment... everything seemed a bit off. I don't love vampires mixed with my Conan, for one... and this one was both too powerful and too easy to kill at the same time. The titular character, Areel, daughter of Lord Endithor, came into massive sorcerous powers far too easily, and far too quickly, or the usual Hyborian fare. Sonja was even a bit off... too nice to the kids (which I guess you can attribute to a mid-life crisis), and just I definitely didn't like this one as much as the previous installment... everything seemed a bit off. I don't love vampires mixed with my Conan, for one... and this one was both too powerful and too easy to kill at the same time. The titular character, Areel, daughter of Lord Endithor, came into massive sorcerous powers far too easily, and far too quickly, or the usual Hyborian fare. Sonja was even a bit off... too nice to the kids (which I guess you can attribute to a mid-life crisis), and just kinda mellow in general... different even from the last book. There were a couple of nice nods to the previous book, which was nice, and it was a pretty decent (if predictable) story, just not as good as the last one... I think perhaps this is more the level of quality I was expecting, and the previous one raised my standards ;) Still a good read, I'll probably track down the others at some point :)

  4. 4 out of 5

    AndrewP

    I think I bought these book because I liked the Boris covers :)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robert Fenske

    This has to be the most well written of the Red Sonja series (so far).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kurtis West

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

  9. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ian Korman

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pat Starnes

  12. 5 out of 5

    Krystle

  13. 5 out of 5

    Trey Wood

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ernest Crowder

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Morrisey

  16. 5 out of 5

    Paul Fletcher

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gene

  18. 4 out of 5

    Slinkyboy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Miller

  20. 4 out of 5

    Will George

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  22. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Solid work.

  23. 5 out of 5

    A J Plews

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul Darcy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Main

  26. 5 out of 5

    Holly

  27. 4 out of 5

    Derek

  28. 4 out of 5

    Damien King

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gord

  30. 5 out of 5

    Spolk

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