2012; 350 pages. Full Title : “Viele Tausende (Many Thousands), Book One of The Ruthan Analects.” New Author? : Yes. Genre : Fantasy, (sorta). Overall Rating : 3*/10.
Ruthan is the Chosen One. His blood will flow through the generations of many races and he will live to see the world rent apart and knit back together. But first he has to be taught all sorts of things. From all sorts of races. Not the least of which is to learn to hear The Voice.
What’s To Like...The story can be summed up in three words and an acronym : Siddhartha set in LOTR. There are elves and dwarves and dragons, and hints of fairies, pixies and Entish creatures to come. And humans, of course. There are some nice descriptions of the lands that Ruthan travels. Ruthan meets people and he learns magic. Women of all races seem to want to help him spread his blood through many generations. No one seems to doubt that Ruthan’s da Man.
Viele Tausende will give your vocabulary a workout. Devin Bates will never choose a common word when a longer, more obscure one can be found. Milton would be proud. It gets distracting at times, but it could be worse.
But as a fantasy novel, Viele Tausende has some serious issues. There are continuity problems, the magic system is poorly developed, there are lots of unanswered questions (e.g., why does the horse live so long?), and worst of all – there is zero action.
I mean none. The closest we get is a lovers’ spat 2/3 of the way through, where spells are thrown instead of dishes. Other than that, we get to listen to Ruthan muse about life, the Universe, and everything else. Frankly, I found our hero/chronicler to be long-winded, slow-witted, and spoiled.
Kewlest New Word...Saccade : a rapid movement of the eye between two fixations points.
Kindle Details...Viele Tausende sells for $2.99 at Amazon. AFAIK, this is Devin Bates’ only novel thus far. But in his Amazon blurb, he indicates this will become a trilogy.
Excerpts...Men have wondered for untold ages about the nature and purpose of their existence, Valéria, but the answer to the mortal condition is really much simpler than we make it. Love and peace are the great meaning of our mortal sojourns. A life is only wasted when it has not been well-lived, and death is nothing for a wise soul to be afraid of. (loc. 402. Herman Hesse would be proud.)
“Are you safe, nephew?” I asked Solfallin.“As well as can be expected, no thanks to you,” he quipped. “I’m burning with exhaustion and I reek of sweat and horse shit. Are you safe?” (loc. 4907)
“Of what value is magic ... if a person can’t, or won’t, make use of it?” (loc. 5712)It is difficult to know what the author intended with this book. Readers looking for a fantasy book are going to be sore disappointed by the lack of action. As a “Siddhartha” book, it does much better, but a book about spiritual enlightenment doesn’t blend well with dragons and elves.
I suspect this was a labor of love, with things like editing and beta-reading dispensed with. Here’s hoping the next two books in the series have some excitement infused into them. 3 Stars. Add another 4 stars if you’ve read Siddhartha, and liked it.