Wizard’s Funeral is book two of the Red Pavilions series by Kim Hunter. It’s one of the lesser known fantasy works out there (that I know of) and I picked up the first book by chance at the local library book sale. I read the first book before I started this book blog, however if you want to know more about it, my review for it is here (Caroline C is my name under the review). It is greatly recommended you read Knight’s Dawn before you jump into Wizard’s Funeral.
The King Magus has been declared dead, and his sucessor is a young boy whom Soldier had met in his previous adventures. Yet there have been some that would prefer if the young boy would be dead. Soldier decides it’s his responsibility to protect the boy and his mother, yet also he has other problems of his own when his wife goes missing and Zamarkand is left in a political chaos.
If you have read my shelfari review on Knight’s Dawn, I wasn’t really expecting much from this book. I decided to keep going with the series because there was an element of political intrigue that was interesting, and also I was curious as to the mystery behind Soldier’s past and who he really is. It wasn’t a bad book, but there were a couple of things that I didn’t like. Yet let me get to what I liked about Wizard’s Funeral.
The funeral of the King Magus described in this book was very unique and different. It was a meeting of creatures from every myth and legend you could think of, yet instead of making it sound like a total chaotic mess it was an interesting mixture and blend. It was also interesting as Soldier was the only human invited, and the other creatures thought he was the oddity in the funeral instead of the other way around. I thought that was the most interesting part of the book and have never read anything like this in any fantasy novel I have read. This definitely stood out.
Another thing I liked are the characters, there’s a bit of a witty black comedy involved and sometimes it comes when it’s least expected. I did jot down quite a few memorable quotes that I thought were well written and got a chuckle out of me. Aside from the previous characters mentioned in Knight’s Dawn, there are some new ones involved in this book but it’s a healthy amount so the reader is not confused. Soldier’s new friend Goldgath brought more to the plot, thus making it more enjoyable to read. Also, I enjoyed the giant cliffhanger ending. I wasn’t about to give up on this series, but it was not going to be in my top priority list to read either, but the ending changed things and now I want to know what’s going to happen.
The plot and storyline was all right, but still not great. There’s one part of the plot where Soldier arrives at a certain destination, only to go back to Zamarkand ONLY to find out he wasn’t needed there in the first place! then he makes the trek back to where he originally wanted to go to. What in the world was that all about??? and what a waste!! I didn’t know what was the point of that! there wasn’t any big revelation, or anything that is character revealing, or anything to advance the plot. I thought it was strange and extremely unnecessary.
At times I sometimes reflected back on my reading, and wondered where is this plot going to? it just seems so haphazard and to me, it feels as if this series is just going nowhwere. What seems as if Soldier is going in the right direction, something else distracts him. Also, it seems as if he doesn’t really care about his past and is not even making an effort to find out. It’s odd and not what you’d expect from a behavior of a normal human being. What I also don’t get is some of these character names. They are the most odd and most obscure ones I have ever read so far and are just beyond strange.
Overall, still not the greatest of fantasy series I’ve been reading. However I am not going to give up on it. The ending of this book caught me off guard and although there are a lot of unanswered questions, I am hoping the third and final book of this series will provide a lot of closure. It’s not the greatest, but it’s not a terrible read either. I give it kudos for making such a unique and different plot with very different characters with their own unique personalities. Do pick this trilogy if you want something different, but don’t expect a lot either. It’s definitely not your average fantasy.
I give it a 5 out of 10.