This is the first novel I've read/heard from Carol Berg. She can REALLY give BEAUTIFUL Prose, and great scene and character descriptions... She can ma..Show More »ke you "Connect with a character", however, this is also how I started getting lost, quickly uninterested, and dozing off in bed. 12 hours of this 20 hour book (don't get me wrong, I LOVE long books and series) were spent in "Character Development" and "Misunderstandings", which got mired down in wordy details.
It almost takes 3 days to tell about 3 days of the story line... At one point, Listening in bed, I woke my wife up and scared the dogs by suddenly (and unexpectedly) bursting out loud, "PLEASE! I GET IT! SEEN IT A THOUSAND TIMES! 'HIGHEST HEIGHTS, DEEPEST DEPTHS'! JUST MOVE IT ALONG!" My Wife rolled over without really waking up fully, and mumbled, "Which book? Need to delete it before I get to it". Meanwhile the dogs were ringed around the bed with their fur standing up, facing outward, growling, like, "HOOO-LEEE CRAP! WHAT DID WE MISS?!?!? MOUNTAIN LION?!?"
I usually say "I HATE Fantasy Novels", and I realize that THIS is why. I get sucked back into the Fantasy Gene by Brandon Sanderson, Rob J. Hayes, Brian McClellan, Joe Abercrombie, etc.. and think "Maybe The Fantasy genre has FINALLY Changed for the better?" and then you promptly hit a series like this (which is probably fantastic if there is an abridged version).
The Main Character usually doesn't seem to know if he's awake or asleep, Insane or Sane, and there's always some simple point of confusion that leads down LONG twisty paths to nowhere, because the character is always unable to respond to misunderstandings, or someone keeps a simple secret for a silly reason that would have saved HOURS of going nowhere. First day of 7th grade English, our teacher said, "If you want to fail this class, turn in stories with any form of '...and then he woke up and it was all a dream'". I heard that again from a College English Lit Professor. Even being an Engineer, with our legendary poor writing and grammar skills, I know THAT lesson.
"Wheel Of Time" broke me from 'buying the next book in a series' simply because I keep thinking: "It has Rave reviews! It HAS to get better!" (..And it never does).
A fine conclusion to the series. Wonders and loss, joy and sadness: victory comes with heavy cost. This is the finest, most engaging fantasy I've read..Show More » in many years. The audio version is beautifully read. Highest recommendation.