Title/ Shroud of Eternity
Author/ Terry Goodkind
Page no. / 512
Publication date/ 2018
Series or standalone / book 2 of the Nicci Chronicles
Unreleased sequels – book 3 / Siege of Stone
Star rating / ★★★
Goodreads synopsis:The formidable sorceress Nicci has gone by many names and faced many challenges. After driving ruthless Norukai slavers out of Renda Bay, Nicci and her companions – the newly powerless Nathan and the youthful Bannon – continue their perilous journey into unchartled lands. Guided by the witch-woman Red’s mysterious prophecy, the trio makes their way south of Kol Adair towards a wondrous city shrouded behind time, Ildakar. But the grotesque omens on their path to Nathan’s salvation – severed Norukai heads on pikes, a monster born of new dark arts, and a petrified army of half a million – are just a taste of the unimaginable horrors that await within the Shroud of Eternity.
This was one of most anticipated releases of this year and I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with it. I did still enjoy this book but I didn’t end up enjoying it as much as the first book. The main issue I had with this book was the writing. I don’t know why but I was a lot more aware of the writing in this book then when I read the first book. There is a lot of repetition throughout the book and it got kind of annoying. For example the fact that Nicci is blonde is repeated numerous times through the 500 or so pages of the book and it really wasn’t necessary. I don’t need to be reminded of this multiple times. There is also a lot of repeating what happened in the first book as well as what is going on in this book. To me this felt very much like filler and it was unnecessary. Other than that, the writing is fine, if a little clumsy at times. For some the plot structure of this sequel may be better than the first book, because it has a more concise story line. Whereas the first book had many different quests that the main characters must resolve, this sequel has one main plot line that we follow. While the plot had a lot of potential to be compelling story, it fell a little flat for me. The plot does flow quite well and it was engaging enough to keep me reading, but it was pretty predictable, especially the twist close to the end. The world building was good but again it had potential to be better. I wanted to see more of the city as a whole, instead of mainly focusing on the rulers, and I wanted a better understanding of the history of the city.
While it was good to be back with these characters, I wanted more development from them. I like these characters but in this book I got quite frustrated with them. Without spoiling anything they enter a new place that is clearly a bit off in many ways but they just seem to ignore it until the end when they decide it’s not a very nice place. I could have told them that from the second they entered the city. It had a lot of potential to be a really creepy and suspenseful place with an intriguing villains, but in my opinion it was all just so obvious and the villains were quite superficially written. I think Goodkind has over-simplified things, especially in terms of the world and the villains, if that makes sense. There is very little depth to them. I think it would have worked so much better if it had been more mysterious. Not only could this help to make it less predictable but there would have been a better sense of suspense building. I wanted more depth from Nicci and Nathan played a pretty minor role of mainly just complaining about his situation. Despite this I did still find it an engaging read. The concept is an interesting one, there are some great action scenes and the pacing is good. Yes the plot is a little lacking in my opinion and it had potential to be amazing, but it was still enjoyable to read.
Despite the fact that I’ve mentioned quite a few negatives, I did still enjoy this book, just not as much as the first book. It had a lot of potential but unfortunately it was a little lacking for me. I enjoyed the first book so much that I had high hopes for this one but it didn’t quite work for me. At this time I plan to check out the next book when it comes out next year but we’ll see when it gets closer to the time. Have you read any books by this author? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.