Thursday, March 23, 2023

I am stopping the grimdark Terra Incognita by Kevin J. Anderson

This is one voyage I can do without, for the destination is not as advertised, so I am taking the ship's lifeboat and going ashore. Yes, against all expectations, namely my own, I am doing what I have only done thrice before: quit a Fantasy series. Quite Terra Incognita by Kevin J. Anderson. Unlike Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God, I did not smell the grimdark on this one, for the coating is light, like a thin veneer of oil over pure water, but like Monarchies of God, Terra Incognita begins with the destruction of the Holy City and devolves into a full-blown war full of atrocities and counter-atrocities between rival Faiths until hatred is the only true religion there is.

At first, before this became bloodily apparent, I was willing to brush it off, figuring that half the tale would be on land and the other the epic adventure on the high seas I was hoping for and led to expect by the back (& front) cover(s). An expectation not born out halfway through so, per my standard protocol when thinking about quitting a book, I delved into the reviews and found, in addition to comparisons to GRRM, that this bloody trend continues; complete with the classic grimdark trait of many characters dying. But is the series truly grimdark, given that is not generally classified as such? Maybe, maybe not. But there is enough of grimdark's poison present to repel me, and if I need lessons on the folly of religious fanaticism/intolerance and the hatred-born wars they breed then I can read from my history bookshelf. Hence my decision and I am seriously disappointed about this since I had been looking forward to Terra Incognita for years, but it is time to cut my losses and abandon ship.

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