This is the review I posted in my "thread" in another group:
I read this for the book of the month in the Bibliophile Club (Shelfari group); I haven't really been into fantasy as a genre for decades.
This was the first novel by Chopra, otherwise known for his "spiritual" writings (which I admit I haven't read). As a fantasy, it wasn't too bad, although there were inconsistencies in the plot; the premise of the wizards following different world-threads was an interesting twist. The writing wasn't bad either, considering it was a first novel; in places (but only in places) it was actually better than much recent fantasy writing that I've skimmed through at work (although mostly that's YA, and this is ostensibly adult fiction).
What I didn't like about the novel was the underlying idea that the world is all an illusion; although I would agree with Chopra that much of what we take as reality is socially-constructed illusion, for me this applies to reified abstract ideas and relations (e.g. "intellectual property" which is a pure invention of the last couple decades), not to the actual material world itself. I also reacted very negatively to the idea of non-resistance in the first chapter; I think much of what is wrong with the world is because people choose not to resist or feel that they aren't able to resist. I suppose what I'm saying here is that I dislike his "spiritual" approach (although it was not quite as superficial as I expected.) I wouldn't necessarily make these criticisms of a "pure" fictional fantasy, but the author makes it clear in his introduction that he intends the book as an allegory, so the ideas (as opposed to the plot) are meant to be taken seriously.
posted 1 year ago. ( permalink )