“A Plague of Giants” is written by Kevin Hearne, author of the excellent “Iron Druid Chronicles”. This is the first book in his new ‘Seven Kennings’ series.
The land of Teldwen is subject to multiple invasions from different groups of giants. The people in this land, that comprises of six kingdoms, have talents that are called Kennings. These kennings confer different abilities on those blessed (or cursed) to get them – the ability to control water and the ability to control air for example. The story is basically about the people of Teldwen and how they fight back when invaded.
I found ‘A Plague of Giants’ to be an average read at best and boring at its worst. I was surprised since the Iron Druid is so full of energy.
Kevin Hearne has taken a very different approach to this book when compared to Iron Druid. I have to applaud this since it is not easy to move away from a proven formula. A Plague of Giants has a narrator who is main character and a bard who narrates the stories of other characters in the story. Most of the book is devoted to the bard’s retelling.
Unfortunately, while this is innovative, it does not really work. The first reason is that it is confusing since the number of characters is quite high and the timelines are different. The second (and more insidious) reason is that some characters have stories that are way more interesting than others. In addition, the pacing also varies from character to character. So, this ends up creating whole sections of the book where you really do not care about what is happening and who it is happening too. The story drags and the book becomes a chore. It also made me invest a lot more time than I would have wanted to in reading this book.
I liked the world building. It is reasonably unique given the plot. Character arcs can vary significantly.
Ultimately, I felt that this book was a set up for the series and not really something to get excited about.
Other Thoughts (Spoilers warning)
Spoilers below. Continue reading at your peril.
I wonder if the seventh kenning is basically a religion that one belongs too.
My favourite portions were the ones with the viceroy and abinava. I disliked almost everything else.
Also published on Medium.