Category Archives: Garden of the Stone

The Garden of the Stone – Reviews (Victoria Strauss)

“ . . . . [A]s I read the story, I did not find myself bonding with either Caraid or Konstant, the main characters. I really didn’t care for either of them. Although, over time I did get to like them a little, I didn’t find either of them very likeable characters. And Bron doesn’t really play a very large part of this story. I also had a couple of problems with the storytelling. First…it was extremely slow. Very little action, except for 20 pages near the end of the story, caused me not to get really involved with the story. Secondly, I found this to be what I call a “descriptive” story. Most of the story is a description. There is very little talking in this story by the character. Personally, I like a lot of talking. For these two reasons, I struggled to read this story . . . . “ (Reading Review)

“It bothers me to see fantasy authors relying on capital letters and other worn cliches to impart interest. Strauss’s first novel showed some promise, but she loses steam here, resorting to the standard dialog patterns and melodramatic mood music to tell what is basically a trite tale in new clothes. The price is probably right. It’s the time you might waste that you have to factor in when making the decision to purchase this. I wouldn’t.” (Amazon Review)

“I thought . . . this one felt rushed and ill-conceived. There was far too much time wasted on long, in-depth conversations in which psuedo-medievel men process their pain. Also, the author builds tension in several parts of the story, but lets it dissipate each time . . .  the whole book feels perfunctory, as though she wasn’t interested in writing it . . . . I won’t be recommending this one.” (Amazon Review)

“The plot is okay . . . . But, the book fails to be compelling. The heroine Cariad is very one-faceted and fails to elicit sympathy I kept wishing she would be tortured more during her captivity because I was so tired of her having been exposed to characters of her ilk half a dozen times before. Speaking of torture, just about every character in the book has some sort of a dark past which supposedly explains their present. Unfortunately, when the past is finally revealled, I couldn’t help feeling let down, as in, “that was the big deal?” Truth to tell, I have been disappointed by most of the fantasy I read lately. I guess I’ll just have to bear it until George R.R. Martin sends out another installment.” (Amazon Review)

“As much as I have been looking forward to this book, sequel to The Arm of the Stone, I was quite disappointed with much of it.” (The Ossus Library Review)

“ . . . [T]he book suffers from its unrelieved grimness. Not one spark of humor lightens the book’s sternly sober plot. And this sheer starkness made the reading tough going — for me at least . . . . [W]hen I reached the end of Garden of the Stone, I immediately reached for my old copy of Alexi Panshin’s Starwell to hang out with the Trog for awhile. Thurb… thurb… thur…” (Cresent Blues Review)

“ freebie of April 2011. Having real trouble getting into this – i just can’t work out why the “bad guys” are nasty and evil. Yes, there is corruption and nastiness in general – but why is the institution of baddies worthy of being taken down . . . . So here it’s really falling flat for me. . . . . Now finished. Never really got into it – the only reason I finished as I was stuck waiting for a meeting to finish and it overran, majorly. “ (GoodReads Review)



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