Thursday, August 27, 2020

Review: The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons

by Jenn Lyons 
Release Date: October 29th 2019
2019 Tor Books
Hardcover Edition; 589 Pages
ISBN: 978-1250175533
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
Source: Review copy from publsiher
3.5 / 5 Stars
Kihrin D'Mon is a wanted man.

Since he destroyed the Stone of Shackles and set demons free across Quur, he has been on the run from the wrath of an entire empire. His attempt to escape brings him into the path of Janel Theranon, a mysterious Joratese woman who claims to know Kihrin.

Janel's plea for help pits Kihrin against all manner of dangers: a secret rebellion, a dragon capable of destroying an entire city, and Kihrin's old enemy, the wizard Relos Var.

Janel believes that Relos Var possesses one of the most powerful artifacts in the world―the Cornerstone called the Name of All Things. And if Janel is right, then there may be nothing in the world that can stop Relos Var from getting what he wants.

And what he wants is Kihrin D'Mon. 

My Thoughts
The Name of All Things is the second book is A Chorus of Dragons series, and I enjoyed it quite a bit more than the first book simply because I thought it flowed a lot better. Furthermore, I think I got used to the writing style and picked up a lot more quickly on the way it was written to it was quite easy to follow; and I enjoyed the sarcasm and humour of the comments as well.  What I didn't particularly like was the way it was organized from book to book which I will explain.

First of all, I truly did enjoy the plot and the characters in this book.  It wasn't quite as confusing as the first book simply because I was familiar with the way it was written and understood who the narrator was from the beginning while it took me a lot longer to figure that out in the first book.  The novel had a lot of action scenes, twists and turns, all nicely spaced out throughout the book, so I enjoyed the pacing.  It was nice to come back to the inn to catch up with Kihrin and other at the beginning of every chapter to catch your breath while at the same time, furthering the story. 

The characters in this book were quite interesting and I developed a huge liking for Qown who is currently my favourite character.  There were a couple of things that he did that were quite surprising and I am looking forward to seeing his character develop and grow throughout the series.  

The magic system developed throughout this book and I got a better understanding of how things worked in this world which I definitely found interesting.  I could have done with a bit less of the sexual orientation stuff as I don't think that was necessary to really have to keep explaining it; there are some things that should be left to the reader to figure out and just go with it.  I, personally, never really cared about that as long as the story is interesting.  

Now this brings me to where I had some issues.  One of the biggest disappointments was learning the story wasn't continuing, but that we were going back in time and learning about Janel. I wonder if this could have been written in a different format where there were dual story lines about Kihrin and Janel rather than two story lines about Kihrin in the first book.  I didn't dislike the format, but I didn't really like the fact that Kihrin was reduced to such a minor role in this book and Talon was completely missing.  I understand that there is a lot going on, but the format kind of put me off a little bit.

The Name of All Things was definitely a more interesting book, and I thought the pacing and action sequences were just right.  And while I was frustrated that Kihrin and Tyentso were reduced to minor roles in this one, I did find Janel, Qown, Relos Var, and other characters to be quite intriguing, and I am curious as to what happens next.  I have very mixed feelings regarding Relos Var and I always enjoy it when an author can make me feel sympathy for a character who is supposed to be a villain.  I am definitely looking forward to reading The Memory of Souls