My mailbox is swamped. The post offce is snowed under. Almost. Here's a look at what some folks out there think about my page.
I picked it up in a bookstore, read the back and thought it sounded pretty bad just from that, read the first page, and put it right back down again. How does this crap get published? Did they just misjudge the tolerance of the fantasy-reading public?
The worst part is, the second book is coming out this month. The Gates of Dawn[i]. Mark your calendars.
A [i]trilogy. How original.
You wouldn't believe the hype that was laid on the release of TFS. I actually work for Del Rey, so I got a front row seat. Happily for my faith in humankind -- but unhappily for the bottom line of my employer -- it tanked.
I just realized that I saw this "novel" with my very own two eyes. It was at the library in the new fantasy releases a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't there when I looked around today. Apparently one of the librarians had it taken out back and shot (or so I hope).
I was at the bookstore yesterday, and noticed The Gates of Dawn on one of the front tables. I opened it at random and read just enough to see that it really is badly written, and many hundreds of pages long. In a way this gives me hope for getting published myself.
Instead of reading Gates of Dawn, just read the chapter "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" from The Wind in the Willows. That probably has more effective fantasy than Newcomb's entire body of work.
I have to say you made me chuckle. When I saw your sig on the ASoIaF
boards, after seeing all the bad reviews for Newcomb, I burst out
laughing when I figured out it was parody site.
I really disliked the Fifth Sorc..whatever. I could not finish the book. Thank you for articulating what I could not.
For 2 long years I have read fantasy, being lead willingly in by the chronicles of the Raven series. Looking back, it was cut-out cardboard D&D fantasy, but it got me reading A song of Ice and Fire, the Kushiel Trilogy, the Book of the New Sun, Gormenghast, Earthsea and so many more.
Then, by chance, I found a book called the Fifth Sorceress and I thought I would read it.
For half a year I was put off reading fantasy. I have a motto: always finish my books. ANd that book was just so bad it was worse than watching the Conan series on film.
Strangely every single one of my friends (I think they're misogynists) loved it. One said it was better than Lord of the Rings. Yes, they are truely without taste.
I wondered: is anyone else around who hates these books. Then I stumbled upon your website.
So thank you for helping me find another Robert Newcomb hater, giving my the best laugh since I read that waste of trees, and please, please, update.
I have to say, I love your anti-Newcomb webpage. There's a plot point I'm caught on in the book that I didn't see you address, though, and I was wondering if it's only me who has trouble with it. There are two options I see:
The sorceresses started the war with the wizards because they went mad from use of the Vagaries, including Wigg's (Wigg *snicker*) wife, who loved him until then.
Problem: The sorceresses never used the Vagaries until they captured a wizard during the war to teach them. No one knew about the Vigors or the Vagaries before the war, when some wizard stumbled on a cave since the wizards were losing the war.
Now, no one I know has brought this up before, so either I'm the only one who sees a problem in the timing, or there's...
The sorceresses, including Wigg's wife who loved him before the war, started fighting because the use of magic drove them mad.
Problem: Before the use of Vigors and Vagaries, which weren't discovered until the war had already started, everyone used the exact same magic based on the abilities in their blood. If sorceresses went insane, why not wizards?
Of course, I may have completely misread the book, but I hate it too much to reread it and see if I'm wrong. If you have time, send me a reply to let me know what you think.
logged onto your site in curiosity. Surely Robert Newcomb doesn't have fans? I am very relieved that your opinion of the book is the same as mine. I bought it on the strength of some good-ish reviews and because of a complete lack of new Martin/Hobbs/JV Jones etc and took it on holiday. To Cyprus. Where I had virtually nothing else to read. It was possibly the worst read of my life, and I've read some stinkers.
Thanks for expressing the truth so eloquently.
This is the creator of the anti-WoT/SoT sites. Just wanted to let you know I checked out your Robert Newcomb fan page and had a good laugh. I was so inspired by your obvious devotion to this soon-to-be legendary author that I went to the bookstore and skimmed through his first novel. I was so moved, I subsequently posted a review on Amazon for the masses. How can an author be this bad and escape my crap author radar for so long? Keep up the good work.
I just wanted to thank you for my biggest laugh in weeks. You managed to write a very entertaining review and made some very cogent points. You cited enough examples of bad writing to certainly convince me that this book had no business even being put on the market.
I picked up this book when it was first published in hardcover, and it took no longer than a couple of chapters for me to realize I'd made a terribly expensive mistake. I couldn't continue it. You obviously slogged through the entire thing, for which I have nothing but admiration for your perseverance. Your website describes everything that I was unable to articulate myself, but which made me realize that of all the epic fantasies I've read, it was among the worst.
As for my own unread copy of the book, I'm an obsessed collector. I mention this only to illustrate how unusual it was for me to be motivated to return the book to my local B & N for an exchange. I got F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack novel, The Haunted Air, in exchange, and believe me, the trade was a very successful one.
Take care, and keep up the good work. While we wait for a REAL epic fantasy, A Feast for Crows. :-)
enjoyed your comments on "The Fifth Sorceress," which is certainly the worst book I have ever read parts of. (I could not force myself to read it all). I posted a review at Amazon.com (1-star). I am glad to see that Newcomb's wretched scribblings are receiving the skewering they deserve.
Q: What should be done with all copies of The Fifth Sorceress?
A: Nuke 'em (or Newcomb)
I also liked your theories as to how R. Jordan will die. My own suggestion is that some day a bookcase containing 1 copy of each of the volumes in WoT will fall on him. Not only will he be crushed, but the clean-up will require more time than was needed to clear away the rubble at the World Trade Center.
On the one hand, that's an impressive dissection. On the other, I've got to ask how you made it through the book. I read 50-odd pages, flicked through the rest, and returned it to the library. That was more than enough to be both creepy and irritating.