other authors? (was Re: POTD question...)

Claire Rojstaczer ambyrglow at softhome.net
Fri Jan 24 00:46:26 PST 2003

Since no one else seems to be bringing her up, I though I'd mention 
(read: rave about) Michelle Sagara West.

I've read the first (three?  four? they blur together) Jordan books, 
mostly for lack of anything else to read at the time, and found the 
plot interesting, the characters flat, the world complicated but 
showing signs of being somewhat poorly thought out, and the pace slow 
beyond conception.  To me, West is what Jordan -could- have been -- a 
detailed world and very complicated plot, but with three dimensional 
characters that I care for.  The pacing is slow, but things do 
progress, and her current series promises to end with the next book 

She has a few flaws that bug me -- she tends to just keep drawing 
more and more characters, and not minor ones, out of her hat, leaving 
the main characters of the first book of any series to drift into the 
background of future books.  Since I care about the characters, it's 
frustrating to have to wait several hundred pages, at times, to get a 
glimpse of one or another.  She also, based on the end of the two 
series she's completed, seems to believe that any climatic scene must 
include a great deal of people flying through the air and a lot of 
colorful fire, an excess of superficial magic that somewhat 
frustrates me, since I know/think she's capable of more depth.

But all and all, I'd heartily recommend her Sun Sword series (starts 
with The Broken Crown, published under the name of Michelle West) and 
her Sundered series (starts with Into the Dark Lands, published under 
the name of Michelle Sagara, out of print and hard to come by).  Her 
Hunter duology (Hunter's Oath, Hunter's Death) was something of a 
dissappointment to me, and I wouldn't recommend that to anyone who 
hasn't read and enjoyed the Sun Sword books; it provides illuminating 
background to those, but on its own I find it pretty weak.