Lord of the Isles

Lord of the Isles (#1) - David Drake I gave up after about two hundred pages, the story just couldn't hold my interest. Not sure why--there have been books I've hated with a passion and I could point to this that jarred or that which annoyed. The style was pleasant enough and there were some interesting magical concepts, but the world and the characters somehow never came into focus for me. Other authors have done the cliched riff of ordinary small village boy has special destiny/royal blood etc, which is a fantasy standard, and yet kept me glued to the page. I think it was hard to care about Garric because he didn't have anything or anyone he was particularly passionate about and nothing about his inner life that pulled you in. His father gives him cryptic hints about his origins and his sister is revealed to have different parents then she thought she did, but Garric doesn't press her or those who tested her or his own parents about his own origins. There's nothing in his life pushing him--revenge, ambition, curiosity, a wish for personal freedom and that pretty much can be said for all the other characters. Maybe that changed in the last two-thirds of the book--or other books in the series. But after two hundred pages in, if an author can't make you care, why give several more hours of your life you're not getting back?