Cover Image: The Exile of Zanzibar

The Exile of Zanzibar

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book was really interesting and had a lot more depth to it than I was expecting! 

The characters were good, and the writing was smooth. I liked the set up of the story and the blend of the sci-fi and fantasy elements. 

My big criticism for it though would be using real place names in lieu of fantasy ones. Florence and Zanzibar are real places and uh, they aren't real places in this book, and that was weird and needlessly jarring.
Was this review helpful?
This book had potential. The concept behind it is unique and the characters are clearly well thought out. But that is about as much good as I can say about it. At times the writing is fine, and at times it seemed like the author was trying (and failing) to give a mythic feel to the prose. At some points the dialogue writing flowed real and natural, and at times it was choppy and distracting. The characters' motivations were not always consistent or logically flowing from what we know of them.

I was wondering why the book could seem so good at some points and so poor at others. And then I read this in the author's afterward: "I have it on solid authority that you should learn to write novels by writing a lot of bad ones until you write a good one. I took an alternate path and wrote The Exile of Zanzibar eight times." He should have followed that "solid authority."

This brought to mind a story told about Brandon Sanderson, perhaps the greatest living author. He was holding an open forum with would-be authors and told them that a potter learns their craft by spinning many bad pots on the wheel. Each time it doesn't turn out right, they smash it down to nothing and then start over. No amount of good can truly fix the bad in that faulty pot. However, authors fall in love with their novels and are unwilling to let them go. Rather than constantly trying to fix their faulty novel, they need to smash it down to nothing and start over. The Exile of Zanzibar is a good cautionary tale of what happens when this does not happen. A potentially good tale has been ruined by what were almost certainly artifacts carried over from those earlier broken attempts.

My advice to Daniel Maidman is to smash this pot. Scrap this Zanzibar project and start over with something else. My advise to the reader is to pass this book by, but don't give up on this author. There is definite potential there.
Was this review helpful?
The Exile of Zanzibar is a fantasy book in which Zanzibar is of course Exiled. It was a fun read that I thoroughly enjoyed
Was this review helpful?
really enjoyed this blend of genres into one great fantasy novel, it had everything that I was looking for from the description. It worked well in the story and I enjoyed getting to know the world. The characters were what I was looking for in this type of book and I enjoyed getting to know them. Daniel Maidman has a great writing style and I enjoyed everything overall.

"The heart of the patricia went out to this people. The high did not hide their nakedness from the low, nor the woman from the man, but all went down together to enjoy the pleasures of life. They stormed into the patient Euxis, then howled at the coldness of the water, laughing and shivering and splashing one another."
Was this review helpful?