Seeds of Hatred by Christian Nadeau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Seeds of Hatred, is a solid debut novel, with deep roots reaching back into the golden age of Sword-and-Sorcery fiction. Christian Nadeau navigates this long, winding tale expertly. And while not perfect, there was never a moment where I didn't want to continue on.
The first chapters introduce us to several characters, of which many will get their own POV. The initial opening scenes with hired thief/assassin Marac, for example, soon plow into strings involving Alex, Dorn, Caras, Murin, Soren, Elyas, and a few more through the middle arcs. Tying these individual pieces together is a daunting task, but Nadeau manages it somehow - albeit with a loss of characterization (more on this later) - by nursing the intertwining political turmoil plot-line with the pursuit and rediscovery of ancient, dark magic. It is an effective effort, what clearly must have taken an enormous amount of work to garden.
But Seeds of Hatred isn't perfect. There are the normal miss-spellings, and editing errors, and the lack of characterization that makes all of the various names blend together. The latter is a casualty to the amount of people introduced in this novel, and is one of those hallmarks of the old D&D/Forgotten Realms stories, of which this piece is obviously inspired by. In the end - though I know it is cliche - towards the latter half the only 'person' I was really invested in, was the world itself. This is in part because Nadeau is very strong at world building, and setting the atmosphere.
This came to me at just the right time; a month or two later, or earlier, and it would not likely have been such an easy pick up. It is a long book, and one that requires a bit of patience to navigate. But patience and timing are always important with good books, and gardening. Personally, I would recommend planting Nadeau's books in your library, at the very least, to see this author grow.
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