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Dying of the Light: A Novel Kindle Edition
A whisperjewel has summoned Dirk t’Larien to Worlorn, and a love he thinks he lost. But Worlorn isn’t the world Dirk imagined, and Gwen Delvano is no longer the woman he once knew. She is bound to another man, and to a dying planet that is trapped in twilight. Gwen needs Dirk’s protection, and he will do anything to keep her safe, even if it means challenging the barbaric man who has claimed her. But an impenetrable veil of secrecy surrounds them all, and it’s becoming impossible for Dirk to distinguish between his allies and his enemies. In this dangerous triangle, one is hurtling toward escape, another toward revenge, and the last toward a brutal, untimely demise.
Praise for Dying of the Light
“Dying of the Light blew the doors off of my idea of what fiction could be and could do, what a work of unbridled imagination could make a reader feel and believe.”—Michael Chabon
“Slick science fiction . . . the Wild West in outer space.”—Los Angeles Times
“Something special which will keep Worlorn and its people in the reader’s mind long after the final page is read.”—Galileo magazine
“The galactic background is excellent. . . . Martin knows how to hold the reader.”—Asimov’s
“George R. R. Martin has the voice of a poet and a mind like a steel trap.”—Algis Budrys
From the Inside Flap
From the Back Cover
Caught up in a dangerous triangle, Gwen is in need of Dirk's protection, and he will do anything to keep her safe, even if it means challenging the barbaric man who has claimed her--and his cunning cohort. But an impenetrable veil of secrecy surrounds them all, and it's becoming impossible for Dirk to distinguish between his allies and his enemies. While each will fight to stay alive, one is waiting for escape, one for revenge, and another for a brutal, untimely demise. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B000FC29IY
- Publisher : Bantam; Reprint edition (September 28, 2004)
- Publication date : September 28, 2004
- Language : English
- File size : 4071 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 288 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #354,085 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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This is Marin's earliest published novel, I believe, and while there are some obvious pacing issues and contrived situations (like all of the characters sitting down to dinner to discuss the history of the world), the novel is nonetheless captivating. If you are enthralled by the many houses of the Seven Kingdoms on Game of Thrones, and the unique customs of each kingdom, you will no doubt love the world-building in Dying of the Light. In fact, this is the novel's greatest success. I totally believe there are worlds out there with these unique races that are at once human and fantastical. Some staples of sci-fi exist (air-cars, laser pistols), and gladly so, because the future would be pretty poor without them. However, while the background is science fiction, the foreground is near-medieval. Legends of great creatures make their way into dinner conversation, duels define the outcome of entire families, and honor is paramount.
My favorite creation in the book is the sociological creation of the "teyn". I won't go into too much detail, but Martin creates an entire society that places more value on male friendship/love/hunting than conventional love and that is the driving force of the novel. Essentially, we find ourselves pivoting on the importance of this notion and where it leaves each character.
The cities created on the festival planet of Warlon are detailed and evoke the many culture that exist outside of the story. There is much to be explored in this universe and I find myself wanting more story and more legend.
The secondary characters in the novel are well-developed and fascinating. My favorite is Garse Janacek, a sharp-note, honor-bound man. The characters that exist on the planet of Warlorn all have their motives and their reasons for everything they do. Their society is elaborate and purposeful.
Our protagonist, Dirk, however, does at times seem a little more like Nick Caraway (an observer) than Jay Gatsby--that role would go to the compelling Jann. Martin does not write much of Dirk's own past into the story, and in a world built upon history and legend, it can be hard to relate to the main character without knowing who is he, where he has been, what his life was like prior to the novel beginning.
All in all, this is a fun read with plenty of action and lore for fantasy and adventure fans. There is definitely no missing the forest for the trees here, though it would be nice if the individual trees got a little extra sprucing.
Given the original publication date this novel, its story, and the characters make more sense in the context of the times. I found the concepts interesting, but the execution lacking. The apposition of violence and pacifism in the story fits well with the conflicts that GGRM would have lived through in the years leading up to its publication. It was a common theme in numerous scifi novels of the time (my adventures in reading began just before that period).
The protagonist is nearly one-dimensional and has almost no backstory or development (outside of stage-setting for why he is where he is). Dirk is a doormat (you could call it patiently pining away...doormat). His former love interest gets a bit more development, but still comes off as shallow. While her backstory is a bit more fleshed out, it still remains in the barest of generalities. While you don't get much direct interaction with Garse and Ruark, by the ending of the novel you at least have a firm grasp of their motivations. For Jaan, he seems almost like a motivational prop, driving the story arc forward, but I just never felt for him until much later in the book (readers will known the moment). Too much time is spent in angst and backdrop building, rather than character development (or, rather, making you care about any of them).
What was interesting:
ai-emereli (the city), finding out the backstory of the Kavalar's and how it got turned about. The 'twist' of why Dirk was actually called to Worlorn (which at least made Gwen's seeming indifference make sense at the last...). That Kavalar poet you get all of two minutes with (sorry, I forget his name, red-something).
What was painful:
Angst, angst, Dirk the doormat, more angst.
Given the reviews I was looking forward to reading this. I have numerous moldy old 70s novels that were and are still great reads. For me this promised and didn't deliver. And then there was that ending...
I thought I'd be reading more traditional sci-fi, but it had an old timey, tribal, knights-having-sword-fights kinda feel. With a side of some gross misogyny. Wasn't what I was looking for in a novel.
But what almost bumped this down to a 2 is that the ending was entirely unsatisfying. Ever watch a crappy movie which has an open ended ending that makes you think they're gunning for a sequel? It had the same feel to me. I won't spoil anything, but I carried on through this book despite not liking it because I wanted to know what happened. I finished reading it not really knowing what happened. 2.5/5.
Top reviews from other countries
This book on the other hand I much preferred. It has a great background, believable plot, and unlike what others feel here, I thought the characterisation was pretty good too.
It's not a perfect book by any means, and I think it could have benefited with fleshing out some of the plot elements. In some ways it reminds me of Jack Vance, which is probably intentional. All I can say is that I enjoyed it, and for me at least, it's a pity he got sidetracked into writing these fantasy doorstoppers