Giving up on The Disfavored Hero

I’d heard a lot of great things about the Tomoe Gozen stories by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, so I dowloaded a sample from Amazon, started reading, was immediately hooked, and went ahead an purchased the book. This morning, with my Kindle showing me at 59% read, I decided to give up.

Honestly, the opening of the book really hooked me; I thought the writing was sublime, and I loved the initial setup of Tomoe and her band of samurai.

But then, almost immediately after the sample ended, Salmonson destroys that setup and radically changes everything. Really, the first chapter is an entire backstory that I think would more commonly just live in the author’s head, and we’d see it revealed slowly over time. The book would open showing Tomoe on the road and masterless, and whatever happened before would appear in dribs and drabs.

It just felt weird.

The book also shifts from the sort of Usagi Yojimbo ronin-on-the-road, picaresque tales to these extended dream sequences where everything is hazy and metaphoric. I was in the middle of yet another one this morning when I simply decided to give up. “Would it nag at me to not finish this book?” I asked. And the answer was: nope.

So, there you go. Back to reading RPGs, I guess.

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