It’s funny how I often associate my reading experiences with my food experiences. This is yet another one. I am reading a new fantasy novel and it is so taste-less that I have to keep skipping pages and getting more and more annoyed by the book (and by the author, I guess.) It is like eating a badly roasted chicken. Although the cook rubbed the chicken with all sorts of herbs and roasted until the outside is golden brown, for some reason the meat is neither juicy nor flavorful. The temperature might have been wrong. The herbs might have been too old. The chicken itself might just been bland to start with. Anyway, the meat simply is woody and tastes like paper. The author of this book dressed up the story with all sorts of “ingredients”: magical creatures popping up every two pages, dangers lurking at each corner, young people taking charge of matters, and lots of references to historical facts. But, at the core of the tale, there is nothing for me to savor. The sentences are plain, the pacing is laborious, the details are tedious, and the characters are neither vivid nor admirable. In short, I can’t swallow this impressive looking bird!