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How to tell when an author has gotten carried away

February 2007

How to tell when an author has gotten carried away. (or “Proper Nouns per paragraph: an examination”):

The great oaken gates of Camaar stood open, for the war that had raged on the plains of Mishrak ac Thull, hundreds of leagues to the east, was over. The vast armies that had been raised by the Princess Ce'Nedra to fight that war had returned to their home, and there was peace once more in the Kingdoms of the West. Belgarion, King of Riva and Overlord of the West, sat upon the throne in the Hall of the Rivan King with the Orb of Aldur once again in its proper place above his throne. The maimed God of Angarak was dead, and his eons-old threat to the West was gone forever.
Guardians of the West, David Eddings (p.19)

That's 11 times, 31 words out of 112, in one paragraph. That's 27% of the text. The worst bit is, I flicked over a couple of pages and there were even worse examples readily at hand. High fantasy, eh?

(Actually, it's not a bad book so far. He has a keen sense of the absurd, which is making the book quite funny, although I can't tell if this is intentional or not.)

Fraser commented:

Oh my maimed God of Angarak... I've never read any of the Eddingses' books, and that extract doesn't make me want to. I don't get the whole 'high' fantasy subgenre, I really don't. Unless 'high' refers to the optimal mental condition for reading it in?

Richard commented:

You'll probably find you get bored with the characters before long - the plot keeps you going, but the rest is a bit shallow (imho). I read them all back in 3rd form, for some reason