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A Man Rides Through - Book Two of Mordantís Need by Stephen Donaldson

Review by Jojo

A Man Rides Through picks up the story of Mordant, the strongest country in the land, ruled by an insane king, a mindless Adept Imager - a country being attacked from within as well as from without.
It took me a while to find a copy of this out of print volume (how can the first be in print and the second not? What are they thinking?) but seeing how much I adored the first book, I didnít think this would be a problem.

It was.

Everything I loved about the first book was either gone (the fact that the bulk of first novel took place in one setting, hardly ever leaving the stronghold of Mordant, strong, intelligent, interesting, alive characters) or suddenly incredibly annoying (the fact that the characters all talked to each other, discuss their plans--even with their enemies. To the point of distraction.)

There is more dialogue than action and halfway through I wanted to toss the book across the room. Little more than halfway through I wanted to just be done with the entire thing. But I had loved the first book. I would finish this!

Finish it I did. The conflict was finally resolved, everything was well thought out (and pointed out to us, often) and there was much rejoicing. By the victors, and me as well.

Admittedly, I wasnít really in the state of mind to read this book these last few days and thatís probably done it an injustice. So, Iím trying not to count that. Even before that point, however, I knew this was not going to live up to the first one, in my mind.

Iím glad I finished it. Iím glad I found a copy of it. And it hasnít turned me completely off of Donaldsonís writing, so I suppose itís not as bad as all that.

Three out of five amulets. Possibly three and a half. Not awful, not great, a bit predictable and a bit tedious.


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