A review by cavalary
Împărăția ultimului cerb by Elena Druță

adventurous dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


[RO: (EN below)]
Nu-s deloc dornic sa citesc in romana in general, iar fantasy-ul care-i chiar scris in romana e in mod special ceva ce pur si simplu nu pare sa mearga, sau cel putin experientele mele trecute, intr-adevar foarte putine, au aratat ca pur si simplu nu ma impac cu asta. Deci asteptarile mele de la aceasta carte erau scazute, dar a parut destul de promitatoare ca sa ma faca sa hotarasc sa-i dau o sansa, si trebuie sa spun ca faptul ca-i in romana chiar nu m-a deranjat, si tind sa cred ca timpii folositi probabil au in buna masura de-a face cu asta. Iar povestea se dezvolta intr-o maniera interesanta, incepand incet si bland, mult timp abia facandu-se aluzie la elementele fantasy, dar pana la urma crescand ritmul iar apoi practic explodand si extinzandu-se, cuprinzand din ce in ce mai mult si avansand in mod repetat in directii neasteptate.
Acestea fiind spuse, pare clar amatoriceasca. Nu stiu nici cum ceva cu atatea greseli a putut fi publicat o editura propriu-zisa, iar o problema anume e atat de ciudat de recurenta ca am tot crezut ca trebuie sa fie intentionat, insa n-am putut gasi nicio justificare pentru asta. Iar autoarea are probleme si cu gasirea numelor pentru locuri dar merge mai departe. Insa mai important decat asta e ca pare sa aiba o imaginatie buna si multe idei, dar nu si abilitatea de a pune multe din asta in cuvinte, rezultatul fiind lipsit de profunzimea si complexitatea necesara pentru epic fantasy, atat de multe ramanand nespuse si neexplicate, multe evenimente fiind pur si simplu aruncate catre cititor in timp ce explicatiile ocazionale sunt gramezi de informatie, astfel incat cu cat povestea se dezvolta mai mult, cu atat devine mai mult un basm decat fantasy propriu-zis. Si nici nu stiu ce sa comentez legat de "norocul eroilor", pentru ca majoritatea intamplarilor, bune si rele, pur si simplu li se intampla personajelor, Tan fiind probabil exceptia notabila, chiar actionand intr-un rol de erou. Bine, Tan si Lemongreen, bineinteles, dar asta intra complet la ce-i pur si simplu aruncat catre cititor, fara niciun fel de explicatii.

I’m not at all keen on reading in Romanian in general, and fantasy that’s actually written in Romanian in particular is something that just doesn’t seem to work, or at least my, admittedly very few, past experiences showed that I just can’t deal with it. So my expectations of this book were low, but it seemed promising enough to eventually make me decide to give it a chance, and I must say that the fact that it’s in Romanian actually didn’t bother me, and I'm tempted to think that the tenses used probably had plenty to do with that. And the story does develop in an interesting manner, starting slowly and tamely, the fantasy elements barely even being hinted at for a long time, but eventually picking up and then pretty much exploding and spreading out, encompassing more and more and repeatedly going in unexpected directions.
That said, it clearly feels amateurish. I also don’t know how can something with so many typos be published by an actual publisher, and a particular problem is so weirdly recurring that I kept thinking that it must be intentional, yet I could find no justification for it. And the author also has problems finding names for places but just rolls ahead. But more important than that is that she seems to have a good imagination and plenty of ideas, but not the ability to put much of it into words, the result lacking the depth and complexity required for epic fantasy, with so much that’s left unsaid and unexplained, many events just being thrown at the reader while the occasional explanations are information dumps, so the more the story develops, the more it turns into a fairy tale instead of proper fantasy. And I’m not even sure what to comment when it comes to hero’s luck, because most events, good and bad, simply happen to the characters, Tan probably being the one notable exception, actually acting in a hero’s role. Well, Tan and Lemongreen, of course, but that falls fully under what’s simply thrown at the reader, with no explanations whatsoever.