Saturday, March 03, 2012

Skyrim Book Reviews: The Wolf Queen

As with the books about Barenziah, I decided that it would be best to treat the two Wolf Queen titles together.

The Wolf Queen
, by Waughin Jarth

This eight-volume set tells an engaging and interesting story about a woman who is unredeemably evil. It reads like historical fiction, because it occasionally contains speculation about events that there wouldn't have been any survivors to record. It has a well-plotted story cycle, with an ending that links back to the beginning. A few scattered typos and misused words detract from otherwise fine writing.

Four stars.


Biography of the Wolf Queen, by Katar Eriphanes

I wish all of the good things I said about the multi-volume set The Wolf Queen could be set about the single volume Biography of The Wolf Queen, but alas, this book is dreadful. It is presented as a historical account (that is, lacking dialogue or other traits typical of fiction), however much of the text is lifted verbatim from narrative passages of The Wolf Queen. This wouldn't be a problem, except that they abridged the story too much, compressing things to the point at which they made no sense.

For example, in one paragraph, Uriel is born. The next paragraph begins, "Two years later, Pelagius II died . . ." The following paragraph begins, "Mantiarco King of Solitude, died the springtide after Pelagius II. Uriel ascended to the throne, ruling jointly with his mother. Doubtless, Uriel had the right and would have preferred to rule alone . . ."

I read those paragraphs over and over again, to see if I missed any indications of the passage of time. As it stands, the text implies that a three-year-old child "would have preferred to rule alone." That's sloppy writing, or at least sloppy editing. It's all the worse because it would have been so very easy to fix, simply by adding a phrase such as, "Once he reached the age of majority . . ."

Throughout the whole Biography of the Wolf Queen, I had a great deal of trouble identifying how much time passed between events. That meant I spent far too much time asking, "Huh?" and flipping back to previous pages.

Skip this book. Biography of the Wolf Queen doesn't contain one single piece of information not included in The Wolf Queen. It is completely and absolutely worthless.

Zero stars. Yeah, that's right. Zero.


Note: I am not connected to Bethesda in any way, and no one asked me to do these reviews. I am doing this purely for my own fun, as time allows. I don't have an agenda, other than the joy of reading and writing. If I panned your favorite Skyrim book, sorry. If I gave five stars to one you thought was awful, also sorry. These are my opinions and mine alone. You're entitled to your own.

Read these books within the game Skyrim, on The Elder Scrolls Wiki or on the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages, or download the Dovahkiin Gutenberg.

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