“Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.”
Friedrich von Shiller
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce thee to the most horrific book I have ever, ever, EVER read, bar Spine of the World. I warn thee, ‘tis not for the weak-hearted, nor is it for people contemplating suicide. After reading the book, the latter will know they want to kill themselves.
First of all, I’d like to mention that you won’t be able to find this book anywhere outside Bulgaria (thank fuck!) and even here it is already gone. Aye, ‘tis a Bulgarian fantasy book, and to top that – ‘tis written by a 17 year old geek wanna-be. I know, now some of you will ask “Then why do you bother? Were you expecting a good book from a 17 yo, played too much Diablo?” Well, since the book was published by one of the biggest publishing companies in BG – Bard – I was hoping that the book would be at least good. It was actually meant as a trilogy and the “author” had given multiple interviews with what you could expect in the next books of the saga.
I bet nobody was expecting this…
Chronicles of the Seven Moons
As I mentioned, this was supposed to be a trilogy, but poor sales fucked that idea up and the only book that came out was Outrunning Destiny. The book got more publicity before it was published than it did after. Actually, it is pretty funny that they made so much buzz about the book before it saw the light of day and when it finally did, it was kind of forgotten. It was advertised on national television, the author – Vassil Tuchkov – gave an interview for the best PC magazine in BG – PC Mania. In the magazine, there was a sample of the book, a paragraph concerning the storyline in the book, but the retardedness of putting that there will be discussed later on. When the book was published, some people said it was great, others said it was a piece of shit, and a third group remained neutral, saying it is somewhere in between. I choose D – none of the above.
This book, this… novel… was an overhyped piece of fucked-up bullshit, with horseshit filling and puke for frosting.
Fuck you, Bard. Fuck you, Tuchkov. Fuck you for wasting my time, for taking my money and filling my brain with thy fucking product, varying from horribly average to epic weak.
You don’t see Americans buying every book from American authors, right? Well, in BG, people have read so much translated fantasy literature that they have become suckers for homeboy writings. When something new and BG comes out on the market, you know that they will buy it just because it’s Bulgarian. I hate patriotism. You can’t make an assumption that something is good, just because it is a local product. But then again… Bulgarians aren’t the brightest people alive.
And this is the best example. Without further ado, I now give you…
And here is the annotation:
Everything begins when the destinies of two unsuspecting lads tangle and they play a great role in the battle against the dark forces.
The Chosen – since long forgotten times an ancient prophecy drives wizards and dark acolytes to seek the Water Child and the Air Child, who will save the world, only to destroy the universe.
Kai – he has a white hair lock, a sign of divine touch, and although he doesn’t know it, he is an Etheral – a godly messenger.
Alan – a pupil in the Air Academy for magic and anomalies, but doesn’t want to be a wizard.
The heroes go through exiting adventures, until they find their mission, win or lose their lives, or even their souls. Will magic survive or will the True Evil triumph, and Kai and Alan will forever be held prisoners in a parallel world?
But above all else, Kai finds out whose messenger he is and the race begins.
A CLASSIC FANTASY EPOS with original elements, colorful and easy-to-remember characters. A great debut for Bulgaria’s youngest fantasy writer, who challenges classic authors in the genre.
Isn’t the beginning enough to ensure you that you will expose yourself to a pile of shit? Let’s take a deeper look at this brainfuck of an annotation.
First of all, the book has Chosen. And not god-chosen, like Chosen in Forgotten Realms, no. Here you have clichéd Hairy Pooper and Matrix-type chosen. People that will SAVE THE WORLD. And why will they SAVE THE WORLD? Well, apparently, to DESTROY THE UNIVERSE! Hah… OK, let’s check again. And I’m not talking about the save the cheerleader to kill Petrelli storyline, I am talking about THE UNIVERSE. A universe. A fantasy universe. A fucking fantasy UNIverse. We haven’t even begun with the book and it already promises you a one-dimensional world. But wait! Then it says that there is a parallel world. So… is it a universe, or is it not? It’s already fucked up, why continue reading?!
Because I can…
Next, we have the names. Kai and Alan. Alan… Really? I will refrain commenting that right now, but I will get back to this.
And we finish with CLASSIC FANTASY EPOS… ‘Tis not. I assure you, ‘tis not. Colorful and easy-to-remember characters? Well, not comepletely true. You have three or four easy-to-remember characters, but only in your nightmares. The others vary from cliché to freakingly mediocre and are very, very easy-to-forget.
Now let’s begin with the book. Why, you ask? Because I like to hurt myself.
A strange man that “surprisingly” turnes out to be a wizard enters an underwater city to seek a sixteen year old fisherman boy named Kai. He takes him away from the city and travels… uhm… somewhere, but they get separated by… well, by the North Wind. Yes, in this book even the wind has an identity and chatacter. Bullshit. The mage… Whateverhisnameis… goes back to Anal’us… erm… Ara’nus – a Sky Academy for magic. There he wants to take a pupil of his – twelve year old Alan, who isn’t very good at magic and doesn’t want to be a wizard. Then why is he here? Oh, yes – he’s an orphan. Big surprise, really – the sad little orphan is the chosen one. So fucking original… One day Alan gets attacked by a creature, known as a soulsucker, but nobody believes him, nor does anybody believe that the same creature killed one of the master mages. His only friend in the Academy – a guard named Simon – stands up for him, but only because he doesn’t want anybody to know that the creature was actually there. Alan fins out and runs away in tears, keeping it realistic for twelve-year olds.
Kai finds himself blown away to an unknown island. There he finds this amazing creature, known as a metamorph. The creature can turn into anything he wishes it to and they become friends. Aw, a puppy! Later Kai arrives at a city, where he becomes a thief.
Why? I dunno. How did he suddenly get to a city? I dunno.
Kai grows very strong in the thief guild and even gets his own nickname – Panda. How do people in a fantasy setting know what a panda is? I. Don’t. Know. In just a month of training, Kai becomes the best thief in the guild, ‘cause y’know – 16-year old chosen usually get better in a month than a skilled thief in a lifetime. He becomes so arrogant, that he tries to rob these three dwarves which have their own gang name, but I can’t remember it, so I’m just gonna call them The Ridiculously Named Cliché Dwarves. Or The RNCD, for short. Their names are really silly – Angry Ironsmith, Druin Raveneye and Girb Dragonfang. In Bulgarian, they are not even translated, which makes them sound even more ridiculous than they already are. And they are your typical group of arrogant, overrated fighters, riding a goat, a bear and a pig… but the pig’s rider thinks it’s a beaver. I need air… Anyway, the dwarves catch Kai with one of their traps. But they are so impressed with him that they not only let him live, but invite him in their group. But that becomes pointless, because some pages later, a band of homeless thieves attacks the dwarves and they are last seen heading into the fight with no mention throughout the book what the fuck happened to them. Not that anybody cares… Kai leaves the city as a stowaway on a ship, along with one of his colleagues – a masked girl – and a new companion – the strange kid Alan.
Later the ship gets intercepted by the forces of the evil necromancer Nemrock (Holy fuck! An EVIL necromancer is the main antagonist! No fucking way!), who captures the three fugitives and holds them prisoner in some caves, where he lives. Because all evildoers live in dark caves! Nemrock serves an evil entity names Uruk’Han that has been sealed away by the wizards long ago and draws his powers from it. He has surrounded himself by an army of strange creatures called barks that are anthropological mixes of cattle, such as sheep, cows, hogs, goats, bulls, fuckless shits and the like. He also has a pet elven druid, who is so gullable, that thinks him a great master. The elven druid finds Alan fascinating and keeps him as a pupil, teaching him the art of the druid, while Kai and The Whore are thrown in the caves to dig for strange rocks that remind me of magicites from Final Fantasy XII. These rocks are the source of Nemrock’s power, because you see, in these times magic is fading from the world and mages are pretty weak, but Nemrock uses these rocks to draw magic and keep himself powerful.
During his time in the caves, Kai creates a rebel group of miners and we get introduced to a bajillion more characters, each one as mediocre as the rest. One of them – the hugest cliché for an axe-loving, curse-spitting dwarf – becomes close friends with Kai. So close, that they even dress as girls in order to infiltrate the women cells and get The Whore out. And so, the rebellion starts and humans, dwarves and the like go against barks and some shadowy creatures.
Meanwhile, in Ara’nus an inner conflict erupts and the headmaster – Christopher Something-Something – as well as one of the teachers – a guy named Alexis, or Lex for short – are thrown into a magic cell (I thought there is no magic). The Academy’s healer – Lance – saves them… but only to turn on them a second later, paralyzing Lex and killing off Christopher. He then goes all James Bond-antagonistic and reveals his master plan to free Uruk’Han, who will grant him limitless power. And he reveals it to the corpse of dead Chris, while behind him Lex is freeing himself from the paralyze spell. Lex finally gets free and kills off Lance… Okay… then he grabs some scrolls (why?) and runs off, remembering an old prophecy about an Water and an Air Child.
Back to the caves, the war wages on and the rebels get some wins, until they reach good’ol Nemrock, who is about to fuck them up… but then the wizard whose name I can’t remember arrives and holds Nemrock off, ‘til the others escape. Somehow, they fall into a portal and get sent to a strange island, where they have to answer stupid riddles from a great white dragon, that turns out to be a small drake, using an illusion. They scare it off and set off searching for a way out of the island… End.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
This books sucks for numerous reasons. It has a stupid world – everything is underwater but two continents and the cave island. It has a stupid story – an evil entity, trying to take over the world (OF COURSE!) and some Chosen try to stop it. It has stupid protagonists – kids, dammit, kids! It has stereotypical antagonists. The dialogue sucks. The surroundings description is either useless, or non-existent. The action plainly sucks cock. The supporting characters are dull, mediocre, clichéd, boring, annoying, bajillion and even racist (Lee Long? Really?!)! I didn’t mention it before, but there are about a million stories going on – an elf going home, Simon’s betrayal, the Academy’s inner conflict, the war between the underwater kingdoms, Alan’s struggle to find his place, Kai’s love story with The Whore, Grunt’s “I don’t like swords” rants and his favourite goat which he apparently fucks, The RNCD, Lance’s struggle for power, Nemrock’s struggle for power, the druid’s lost son, A-Guy-From-The-Caves’ stupid story about finding a medallion of illusions the million background stories of the rebel miners, Kai meets a goddess, the wiz… DONOVAN! His name was Donovan… Donovan’s search for the Air and Water Child… I am probably missing more, but isn’t even this enough? It’s a STORY CLUSTERFUCK! And this might be strange, but this book will sound way better in English, since the writer has used every element of the fantasy terminology without bothering to translate it and it is just horrific in BG.
Remember the sample that I mentioned? It was about the Lex and Lance fight, which is probably the best part of the whole book… if it was a standalone! But no – it is part of the main story and one of the main characters gets killed during it. You reveal a twist in a sample!
If there is any originality in this book, that is that the RNCD are THREE and not SEVEN!
And there are so many time loops in this book. Nobody bothered to check the previous years in some of the stories and then comes up with new ones and it turns out that some of the characters are born before their parents and others – 3,000 years later! WOW, now THAT’s a pregnancy! Also, in this book you don’t see anything coming. And not in the good, creative way, here stuff just happen for no apparent reason… they JUST happen in a mindfucking way. Just look at the story:
An evil entity wants to take over the world, using a necromancer and a traitorous guard and mage. The gods have Chosen that will save the world to destroy the universe. The Chosen are puberty kids. The mages are weak, because magic fades from the world. The kids travel randomly to find each other. When they do, they get thrown into a mine, where they start a rebellion. Simon the Guard steals a mighty sword from the Academy. They meet a strange man with a strange amulet that gets his own background story. They meet a rope-fighting Asian guy names Lee. The Academy implodes. Nemrock fights Donovan. The rebels just… fight. The rebel leaders fall into a portal and into a world where a dragon riddles them. They scare it off. Nemrock escapes. End of first book.
What the fuck, man?! Stuff just randomly happens! And there are no chapters or parts – it’s just straight text, from beginning to end, with some illustrations and page breaks. It works with Pratchett, but only because he is funny! And every attempt of this book at being funny draws a frustrated sigh. And it tries… a lot! I’ve read a lot of complaints that he plagiarizes from Raymond Feast, but I haven’t read Feast, so I can’t be the judge of that. Nor do I care – who gives a fuck about this abomination! It is already fucked up enough.
I know that this I a first book. I know that it only builds up for the stuff that will happen later. I know that I shouldn’t have been expecting a whole damn lot from a geeky teenager, nor should I have been expecting anything from a Bulgarian writer (which is an oxymoron), but I was expecting a lot from the prestige publishing company. See, Bulgaria has about 65,000 publishers and I am familiar only with 3-4 of them, so my hopes were backed up! But no! I guess even Bard would do anything for money – the kid had some sponsors, they gave money for the publishing, they gave massive media coverage – more than I have ever heard or read for a book in BG, bar Potty Harer.
I am glad that there was no second book to see the light of day! I am glad that even Bulgarians have enough brains to recognize a piece of shit when they see it. (Then again, most BGs are allergic to reading, and the others like folklore music… bummer, what is wrong with this country?!) Even this book is too much, even for hardcore fantasy readers like myself, who torture themselves enough with R.A. Salvatore’s work. And you should be glad that you will never have the chance to read this abomination. But if you do… if you ever see this, BURN IT! Burn it and send it to the fiery depths of Hades, where it belongs, along with scum like the pope, politicians, lawyers, dentists, Dane Cook, Hannah Montana, Wulfgar, Cattie-brie, religious people, terrorists, K-Fed, K-Fed’s ex, Johnny Knoxville, Paris Hilton, Paris Hilton’s friends, etc.
I’m Remus Willmore and this was enough brain torture for me, so I’m outa here!
Have a nice fucking day!