By entering tournaments anonymously as "The Red Knight," Durand will demonstrate his heroism and prowess and be drafted into the honors of the king. It may fall to Durand to save the world of Man… Authentic and spellbinding, In the Eye of Heaven weaves together the gritty authenticity of a Glen Cook with the high-medieval flair epitomized by Gene Wolfe's The Knight , to begin an epic multi-volume tale that will take the fantasy world by storm. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published March 6th by Tor Fantasy first published April More Details Original Title. Tales of Durand 1. Other Editions 6.
Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about In the Eye of Heaven , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. I really tried, but the prose is just too dense and decorative for me.
I'm certain that there's a cool story with really great world building buried somewhere in here. I would catch glimpses of it from time to time, but then whatever had briefly caught my attention would slip away. What I read of this seemed less like a true narrative of events, and more like random mini-episodes of Durand's adventures around this massive fantasy land. So many characters. So many random names of people and places and Gods and Monsters and very little of the important glue of plot movement to tie it all together.
I found myself re-reading more and more paragraphs, trying to figure out what exactly was going on. It's not you book, it's me. I think fans of high fantasy with extremely heavy world building will enjoy this, though this is clearly a novel that makes its readers work for it. If you're looking for a challenge, give this a go! Withholding a starred rating as I did not finish this. View 1 comment. Ahoy there me mateys! So here be me honest musings. I really wanted to like this debut fantasy novel. It was compared to Glen Cook and the adjectives "gritty" and "medieval" were used.
One of me favourite author's, Tamora Pierce, gave it a four-star review on Goodreads and read it twice. Hence its appeal. But this one just did not float me boat. Instead I had to abandon ship and watch it sink to the watery depths n Ahoy there me mateys! Instead I had to abandon ship and watch it sink to the watery depths never to be seen again. I just found the writing style to be dense and confusing. I would have liked the plot to be more focused.
Also I found the main character, Durand, to be rather flat and not compelling. I thought I was going to get a character that I didn't necessarily find admirable but would root for almost despite meself. Some of me crew members are highly enjoying this one but the little bit that I read was less than stellar. So lastly. Jan 24, Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , adult.
Durand is a second son, condemned to the life of a wandering sellsword unless he can get lands of his own. His first chance is ruined when the heir, thought to have drowned, returns on the eve of Durand's knighting.
Set on the road by a god called the Traveller, Durand enters the service of a cruel knight who drowns his wife's lover and sets Durand as one of the guards when he walls the lady and her baby in a tower room. Durand leaves, to enter the service of the lady's brother. He too is lookin Durand is a second son, condemned to the life of a wandering sellsword unless he can get lands of his own. He too is looking for redemption of a kind as he leads his men from tournament to tournament, trying to prove his worth to his king, his father, and his wife.
The knights who follow hope he will win enough fame and money to give each of them lands of their own. And Durand--Durand just can't seem to put a foot right. That, or the gods are testing him, by throwing supernatural traps of every kind in his way. The story is grounded in the economic realities of the Middle Ages, and there are mystic elements over that--a realm that appears only every seven years to host a tournament, a priesthood in black that spreads evil wherever it goes, rituals that must be repeated or everything goes to pieces.
It's a dark story, and you do wish that Durand would keep his temper better, but it's a gripping read my second. I DNF-d this one a little over halfway through. It isn't a bad book, but it never captured my interest and retained it, which is sad since I really liked the main character and wanted to read about him. Feb 18, Ken rated it did not like it.
May 22, Shane Jardine rated it it was amazing. So when I found out that the last book in the trilogy was going to be releasing later this year and that the first two books were getting reissued in trade paperback I knew it was the perfect time to finally read it.
It honestly took me a little while to actually get into the book but once I did I loved almost everything about it and spent my entire day off laying in bed reading it and mentally berating myself for waiting so long to do so. David Keck is a great author and there was a lot that I enjoyed about this book, but I there were two things that really stood out about if for me.
Normally I think getting into the grimy details of a world can bog down a story, I think it gives the world some verisimilitude. The other thing that I think really made this book stand out was what a fantastic protagonist it had. Durand is a good man in a world of corruption and greed who wants nothing more than to be a good knight who can make a difference in that world. The only complaint I really have about In The Eye of Heaven is that I felt like the pacing was a bit off with the story and that the plot would wander off in weird directions occasionally. I think the amazing world and its characters more than make up for some minor pacing issues.
This is a book that I will definitely be recommending to anyone looking for a new fantasy series to read. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Apr 27, David Fuller rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy. IN David Keck's tale of a knight-errant, the knight isn't the only thing that wanders.
Sometimes the plot does, too. Keck, who grew up in Winnipeg, puts his degrees in history and literature to good use in crafting a detailed fantasy that smacks of Arthurian romance. The main character, Durand, is left without title or holdings when a long-lost son returns to claim land that would have become Durand's by default. Without waiting for pity or advice, Durand charges off to seek his fortune as a man-a IN David Keck's tale of a knight-errant, the knight isn't the only thing that wanders. Without waiting for pity or advice, Durand charges off to seek his fortune as a man-at-arms.
Early on, he befriends a skald named Heremund, who regales him with tales of ancient kings and unseen powers. While plainly an expository device, it helps the reader get to know the background. Durand, a man of action, isn't given to musing on such things. He often lands himself in either a pitched battle or ethical dilemma -- sometimes both.
Through skill and a lot of nerve, he works his way into the retinue of Lord Radomor. Durand's loyalty is rewarded, but he soon finds Radomor is unpredictable and vindictive, meting out a slow death for a man he suspects of cuckolding him. Radomor also deals openly with other lords seeking to depose the king, and Durand must decide where he stands. Durand is also preyed on by the wraithlike Blackthorn men, and given the evil eye by the black-garbed sorcerers called Rooks surrounding Radomor.
He manages to escape and prove his worth to another lord, Lamoric, who takes him in with few questions asked. Lamoric has secrets of his own, and at this point the story focuses so much on him that Durand is nearly secondary. Lamoric knights him, but has bigger fish to fry. A diversion leads into Hesperand, a country doomed to keep refighting old battles and drawing in unwary travellers to do the same.
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The names and back story fly at the reader like knights' pennons -- colourful, but too many and varied to easily keep straight. Fortunately, Keck's visceral writing style anchors the narrative. In one castle, Durand tries to sleep while "listening to lovemaking, farts and snarling dogs. Durand picks up many secrets in his travels, but he doesn't know what use to make of them, without the ear of any lord or power of his own.
But when Radomor makes his play for power, Durand finally sees his chance. While not as strong on characterization as Guy Gavriel Kay, Keck has the same sense of history underlying his world. He also avoids letting his epic sprawl a la Steve Erickson, keeping the focus on a few characters rather than a phone-book-length cast. Don't be surprised if In the Eye of Heaven spawns a sequel. Despite its occasionally meandering track, it delivers a fast-moving combination of lance-shattering battle, courtly politics and unfathomable magic.
Oct 20, Arseni Kritchever rated it it was ok. This is what I like to call a "heartbreak" book. It's what I call books that I really really wanted to like but in the end just couldn't. This book tells a tale of a young knight-to-be Durand, as he travels across an Arthurian fantasy kingdom gone bad, first in search of employment and then in search of redemption. This is dark fantasy with a lot of violence, gritty details, mature language and situations, and bleak choices with a lot of intriguing details. It is clear that the author has put a This is what I like to call a "heartbreak" book.
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It is clear that the author has put a lot of effort and imagination into the setting and that part of the book really pays off. I was very interested in the lore of the setting and its history, and there are some great vivid descriptions of monsters and locations. This book is full of interesting new ideas and twists on the familiar tropes of the genre.
However, as a novel, as a narrative, "In the Eye of Heaven" falls apart. First, there are no characters to root for. I get that Durand is supposed to live in a complicated world with no black-and-white morality and he's supposed to be a flawed character, but even a flawed character should have some traits that keep the audience's interest in his fate. Here, our main protagonist is shallow, two-dimensional, usually quite passive, impulsive and lacks anything that might make the reader root for him.
Other characters with one exception of a wandering skald who provides much of the exposition and comic relief are similarly repulsive, boring and two-dimensional. The plot takes a while to get going, suffers some awful pacing throughout, and is often quite confusing; the big twist and payoff at the end comes far too late and is too abrupt to make a difference. Then we need to talk about Keck's style, his prose. I'm really not sure what effect he was trying to achieve in this book, but if his effect was to leave the reader confused and disoriented then he has succeeded. I've got a few university degrees, I've taken a few courses on creative writing and novel editing and I still couldn't understand clearly what was happening in many passages throughout the book!
The author's prose was confusing, stuttering it lacked flow and was often a chore to read. Oh, and the author clearly loves a few words and expressions. If you take a drink for every time Keck uses the word "brute" to describe a horse, person or some monsters, you will pass out 20 pages in. My desire to find out more about the setting, uncover the lore of the truly fascinating dark Arthurian world that Keck has created, kept me reading until the end.
But the author's frustrating prose, poor pacing and lack of any compelling characters convinced me not to give the second book in the series a try.
David Keck is capably of vivid and interesting descriptions and has a wonderful imagination and eye for details, but he needs to work on his characterization, pacing and prose. I also feel that getting a better editor might have made this book much better than what it turned out to be. As it is, I'd advise a pass but keep an eye on the author's future works. Mar 05, April rated it it was amazing. Went for an author I had never heard of this time around since I don't have access to my own library Very good book.
I found the mythos and the pantheon of this world very fascinating and was distracted at first by the writing style Gritty and a little disjointed this book kept me captivated and interested until the very end. Definitely NOT for everyone. I'm giving Mr. Keck five stars for this first novel. Now to see if I can find the next one Jun 09, Russell Anderson rated it really liked it. Great story, with characters that you can really get behind. The protagonist doesn't always act as I would act, but he is completely supported by the development preceding his decisions.
The Arthur-Gueniveur-Lancelot love triangle is a little trite, but you can't argue too much with a theme that has had that much success. The characters have you yelling at them in your head as you read, and only afterward do you realize how invested you have become in their story. Well written, well developed, go Great story, with characters that you can really get behind. Well written, well developed, good plot. Mar 17, Chernz rated it really liked it. The multiple one star and DNF'ed reviews almost put me off this thing but it had been a bit since I read some fantasy and I figured I might as well give this thing a shot.
I can honestly say it surprised me, both in tone and narrative style, and that I found myself increasingly fascinated during my read-through. I almost never dog-ear or note mark pages but I got so caught up in the lore and the mythos of this world that I started keeping track of juicy bits of exposition wherever they infrequently cropped up.
In summary, it's a pretty simple story- as the second son of a smaller barony, Durand has no choice but to try and make a name for himself by becoming a knight-errant and attracting the attention of a lord or duke through his tourney prowess or heroics. While he initially sets off alone, it doesn't take Durand long to fall in with some pretty bad company and to become complicit through lack of protest in some of their nastier deeds. The rest of the novel has to do with Durand righting his wrongs and thwarting these Bad People when the true scope of their ambition becomes clear.
Where the novel really worked for me though, was in its subtle and layered world building and its careful construction of a fantasy realm that gives 'grim' a new meaning. This is a place that would make a fog-shrouded English moor look cheerful, that's haunted by the restless dead and tethered ghosts of men who have been swept up in past wrongdoings, doomed to relive through their mistakes again and again.
It's a land where the Lost and the Banished lurk just beneath the surface and where spirits that have more in common with dark folktales than your typical fantasy creatures populate eerie woods, silent rivers, and the unquiet ocean. There's a deep and organic history to this world with an underlying mythology that we're given just enough hints about to tease together into a coherent narrative. It was an absolutely original and inspired world and I loved it despite or maybe because of its perpetual hauntedness. Kecks' writing is fantastic for the setting and just worked here for me- he writes sparsely but beautifully, and is damn good at drawing out the eeriness and wrongness of some of the more chilling scenes.
He gives the novel a definite sense of gravitas and even though we are swept from one event to the next to the next, it never feels overwhelming or awkwardly paced. Things flow into each other with purpose and inevitability. The characters serve their purpose within the story but they're not the strong point or even truly the focus. I did grow to like several of the more prominent characters but none of them approach three-dimensionality or even have much of a strong personality to root for.
This includes Durand- the focal point of the narrative- but, oddly enough, I was OK with this. The world takes front and center stage here with the characters acting out their roles within it. Jun 07, Jasmine rated it liked it Shelves: advanced-reader-copy-reviews. I have decided to forego the "quick summary" section.
The story travels so many paths, I cannot provide an adequate or meaningful summary. The glamour of sleep arrangements filled with nits and fleas and in the impossibilities of upward socio-economic movement for a second son, and the interference of gods. It is a fantasy, after all. The reader is captivated by the world Keck has created. It is dark, and the lore is fascinating. It is one of the most well-developed worlds I have visited in a while; it feels as real as our own.
Keck seems to have written several stories and combined them to create a book that is not entirely cohesive. The glue which holds the tales together is lengthy bits of tiresome prose. As a Steven Erikson reader, I am used to a certain level of side paths and questions left unsolved for several novels.
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However, Erikson always pushes his stories forward in a unified direction. The plot pushes ever onward until the merging point is reached at last.
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Keck has not figured out the recipe to connect the action with a central goal. This lack of overarching focus, mixed with uncompromisingly cruel pacing, left me disappointed and tired. At times, reading this novel feels like a punishment. Once again, I have encountered a book that leaves me confused.
Rather than decide if this is an enjoyable read or a problematic march through quicksand in the rain, I will allow myself the joy of the world and the disappointment of the storyline. Yet, perhaps that is Keck's intention. Rarely read "never" is life a straightforward march of clear purpose or reason. I loved these books. I'm 15 and I thought they were excellent. While the books did envolve me to think, it was exactly what I was looking for in a a book.
Can't wait for the third! Designed by GameSiteTemplates. Hornswoggler, Gent. Interview with Kevin J. Free Books! Helping out an author, Dean Koontz's F View My Stats. Thursday, February 14, In this debut, David Keck introduces readers to Errest the Old , a kingdom heavily influenced by medieval Europe complete with dukes, barons, fiefdoms, knights, a Christian-like religion, rich mythology, and a high king. Unlike the Middle Ages though, the land is teeming with the supernatural and stories about the Banished and the Lost and the First Ones are much more than mere myths.
For the boundary between Creation and the Otherworld is extremely thin and only by the oaths of the High King and the blessings of the sanctuaries are the Banished warded from roaming the land. For one, the prose is fairly economical and lacks any sort of distinguishing style. Descriptions and background information meanwhile, are held to a minimum which makes some things difficult to understand like the landscape itself. And even when the author does introduce some details about the world or the mythology, the passages either felt forced or seemed to drop in at odd moments adding to the confusion.
For despite all of the problems mentioned above, there were a number of things that I really liked about the book. One was the excellent pacing.