Monday, March 30, 2009

Dawn of Empire

I’m reading Sam Barone’s DAWN OF EMPIRE at the moment. One thing I thought interesting was Mr. Barone’s decision to start the book with a fairly lengthy prologue told through the villain’s perspective. I’m 2/3 through the book, and I don’t think we’ve returned but maybe (?) once to the villain character.

This technique enables readers to immediately form a distaste for the Alur Meriki, the villainous barbarian tribe of invaders serving as the book’s antagonists; however, I can’t help but think this a risky strategy. I had already paid for the book (an online purchase), but I wonder would I have kept going had I been browsing in a book store?

What do you think? Would you risk starting with a villain?

UPDATE -- By the way, I do like Mr. Barone's book so far and am glad that I kept reading.


  1. This may be off the subject a bit but I remember Eli Wallach (the villain) in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN arrives at the start and then isn't seen again to the end of the classic film. It built up great anticipation because his character is mentioned throughout the movie building to the exciting conclusion.

  2. Allison Brennan's books often start with the villain's pov, and she does pretty well with them. In hers, though, the villain is usually in a lot of scenes throughout the book.

  3. I believe I've seen THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, but I can't recall any of its details. I hadn't considered movies. Hmm ... I'll have to ponder this further.

  4. I haven't read any of Allison Brennan's books, Edie, but it seems like as suspenseful as I hear her books are that she would probably have some good villains.