Paul Kearney

elvet

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I am just about finished Hawkwood and the Kings, and it is simply a fabulous read. He takes a lot of historical elements from different times (multiple Papacy from 13th century, fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Ottoman Turks, Columbus' voyage to the Caribbean in 1492, the Spanish Inquisition of the 1500s, and the excommunication of monarchs (such as Henry VIII) from the mid-1500s, and the warfare between Christianity and Islam of the 1453 to 1600 period), and has early gunpowder weapons (culverins and arquebuses). There is a really good political story of church vs. monarch, church vs. church (different orders).

The power structures of religion are once again exposed as being completely hypocritical and contrary to their founding tenets.

An altogether excellent story, but with a good dose of the fantastic in the use of dweomer and mages, but they do not overpower the story, or become deux et machina.

Highly recommended.
I've bought it and have Century Soldier on order. Thanks for the feedback. :)
 

Clansman

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Make sure you tell us how you like it. My feel is that Kearney is under-exposed as a writer. My first experience of his work was The Ten Thousand, a really good historical fantasy (very, very light on the fantastic elements), based on Greek/Persian history. Having read that, I started looking for his other stuff, most of which was out of print, without a lot of second-hand stuff lying around (at least not in Canada). I eagerly await the sequel to The Ten Thousand, namely Corvus.

The only thing I don't like about this omnibus edition of Hawkwood and the Kings is the print/typeface. Very small, and almost right to the edge of the page. Covers are gorgeous! The inside production value leaves a lot to be desired, though. That is a comment on the publisher and the publishing industry, not the author. There could have been more maps.

I love maps.
 

GOLLUM

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Nice to see Kearney finally getting some well deserved impetus on the forums....:)

Now to target the next unsung hero....;)
 

Connavar

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Make sure you tell us how you like it. My feel is that Kearney is under-exposed as a writer. My first experience of his work was The Ten Thousand, a really good historical fantasy (very, very light on the fantastic elements), based on Greek/Persian history. Having read that, I started looking for his other stuff, most of which was out of print, without a lot of second-hand stuff lying around (at least not in Canada). I eagerly await the sequel to The Ten Thousand, namely Corvus.

The only thing I don't like about this omnibus edition of Hawkwood and the Kings is the print/typeface. Very small, and almost right to the edge of the page. Covers are gorgeous! The inside production value leaves a lot to be desired, though. That is a comment on the publisher and the publishing industry, not the author. There could have been more maps.

I love maps.
He is under exposed because he has had publisher issues and some bad marketing surely. Because a writer of his quality could have been sold as a new David Gemmell or another great fantasy adventure writer.

I enjoy Ten Thousand,Monariches series but i think his finest work so far is the two Sea Beggars books, let me know what you think about that series when you read it. Now that you are a fan of his works will be interesting what you like most.
 

Clansman

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He is under exposed because he has had publisher issues and some bad marketing surely. Because a writer of his quality could have been sold as a new David Gemmell or another great fantasy adventure writer.

I enjoy Ten Thousand,Monariches series but i think his finest work so far is the two Sea Beggars books, let me know what you think about that series when you read it. Now that you are a fan of his works will be interesting what you like most.
This has happened to other authors of quality fantasy. Readers have no idea how much in the hands of publishers our favourite authors are. A good series or a book can be so easily sidelined when a publisher pushes its resources at the latest piece of crap on which they can guarantee a sale. Terry Goodkind gets marketed at the expense of authors like Kearney, Erikson etc.

In the middle of Century of the Soldier now, and the pace has not let up at all. The story is very different from The Ten Thousand, but Kearney really knows how to write a page turner. There are enough annoying typos, however, that coupled with my concerns about the interior formatting and font, I am concerned about Solaris' willingness to produce a quality book. This story deserves better.
 

Connavar

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Oh man i hate typos they take me out of the story too much. I only need Century of the Soldier omnibus too.

Its a twisted world when the likes of Goodkind are mass produced and the quality of the likes Kearney you have to wait years for publishers to realese even his old books. We can only vote with our wallets and show what we like to buy.
 

Werthead

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Having completed the second omnibus, I have to say that the fundamental problems with the final book haven't been wholly fixed by the rewrites. Apparently Kearney at one time planned 40,000 words of new material, which would extend the length of the book by almost 50% and hugely expand on plenty of areas. As it stands, they only had space for 5,000 words and these are spread fairly evenly through the books. Comparing the two editions page-by-page reveals mostly line tweaks and a few new paragraphs here and there rather than whole new chapters and scenes (as in say Feist's revised Magician or King's revised The Stand).

Still, it does a better job of resolving some character arcs (Avila is revisited, Abeleyn's fate is made clearer, Hawkwood's fate given a little more resonance) and the changes are for the better, they just don't go far enough to eliminate that rushed feeling from the final volume.
 

Clansman

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I am just about done the second omnibus (about 100 pages left), and I am wondering how the heck the story will be wound up in such a short period of time. Now I know: it won't be, as least not completely.
 

Clansman

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Finished The Century of the Soldier, and it does have a good ending, though it could have benefitted from another 10,000 words or so to flesh it out. The structure of the ending was excellent, and it did not betray the storyline, but there is not enough flesh on the bones. I will post a review later this week in the Reviews section, where Werthead has already done so. I have very similar view to his. The series as a whole is 4.5 to 5 stars. It is only the last bit that flags, due to not enough verbiage (a unique problem, nowadays). The Monarchies of God deserves a place on the shelf with A Song of Ice and Fire, The Wars of Light and Shadow, and The Malazan Book of the Fallen. What sets it apart from those stories is that it is a short, crisp story that shows that epic fantasy does not have to be several 1000-page books to be a good story.

Very much looking forward to Kearney regaining the rights to the Sea Beggars.
 

Werthead

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I just posted my review of Corvus, the sequel to The Ten Thousand, to the review section. I think it's even better than The Ten Thousand.
 

elvet

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I finished Hawkwood and the Kings, aka the first 2 books of The Monarchies of God. I liked it, but not as much as Malazan or First Law. I'm a bit put off about ....(spoiler follows)
the werewolves. I guess I associate them with 6-pack abdominals and vampires a la True Blood and Eclipse
However, I love the military description and details and the politicking/backstabbing subplots. I've just stared Century of the Soldier.
 

GOLLUM

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I finished Hawkwood and the Kings, aka the first 2 books of The Monarchies of God. I liked it, but not as much as Malazan or First Law. I'm a bit put off about ...
Indeed...do not give up, it gets better and what's wrong with having contemporary versions of tropes challenged anyway? Its' one of the key aspects that attracts me to writers of the ilk of Michael Swanwick, China Mieville, Ted Chiang, Kelly Link and M. John Harrison amongst several others.

I do agree that it is not as "polished" as some other key series out there albeit Monarchies is still a quite interesting and skillfully written series. I think you will find that his more recent works are really quite excellent and on a par with some of the better known "blockbusters".
 

chopper

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it's easier to deal with the spoilerish elements when you realise that the books themselves were written a good decade before the current fad for these things. if that sentence actually makes sense, that is.
 

elvet

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Indeed...do not give up, it gets better and what's wrong with having contemporary versions of tropes challenged anyway? Its' one of the key aspects that attracts me to writers of the ilk of Michael Swanwick, China Mieville, Ted Chiang, Kelly Link and M. John Harrison amongst several others.

I do agree that it is not as "polished" as some other key series out there albeit Monarchies is still a quite interesting and skillfully written series. I think you will find that his more recent works are really quite excellent and on a par with some of the better known "blockbusters".
You are right, of course. Before I knew it, I was finished Iron Wars. Everything is starting to come together. I think I'm more impressed with this series as it progresses.
I read The Ten Thousand last year, and enjoyed it very much. I'm looking forward to Corvus, especially after Werthead's comment above. :)
 

GOLLUM

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You are right, of course. Before I knew it, I was finished Iron Wars. Everything is starting to come together. I think I'm more impressed with this series as it progresses.
I read The Ten Thousand last year, and enjoyed it very much. I'm looking forward to Corvus, especially after Werthead's comment above. :)
Glad to hear it.

I too am looking forward to getting a copy of Corvus.
 

Connavar

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I finished Hawkwood and the Kings, aka the first 2 books of The Monarchies of God. I liked it, but not as much as Malazan or First Law. I'm a bit put off about ....(spoiler follows)
the werewolves. I guess I associate them with 6-pack abdominals and vampires a la True Blood and Eclipse
However, I love the military description and details and the politicking/backstabbing subplots. I've just stared Century of the Soldier.
He is better with The Ten Thousand and Sea Beggar series. He is better heroic fantasy than epic world shattering events ala Erikson IMHO.

Come on thats dismissing centuries of literature history of fantasy for few lame books.

Like i would stop reading fantasy after my first writer was RA Salvatore.....
 

Moggle

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The Ten Thousand is not very well rated on goodreads. There's gotta be something to that.
 

Clansman

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The Ten Thousand is not very well rated on goodreads. There's gotta be something to that.
The "something" would be that those who have rated it didn't like it because it is very "low" fantasy. There is no overt use of magic at all. It is almost like a Kay novel in that regard. There is another race, that does not look like humans, but they act and die like humans, so I found the distinction merely curious. It really was historical fiction, but in an invented ancient world.

It was a brilliant book, with good, tight plotting and excellent character development. Thhhppppt! to GoodReads.
 
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