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My biggest problem with this book was the ending. The story was going well, I was interested in what was going on, and there was a moment where it seemed to be heading for an interesting final battle when it suddenly became almost "Rocks fall, everyone dies". The actual ending to the big battle is only discussed rather than shown and the epilogue only shows what happened to three of the characters in detail, although others are more discussed than shown. I would have liked it far better had we been shown rather than just told in hindsight what happened. As it was, it felt like the authors just got tired of writing the series, and decided to end it quickly. That was the only conclusion I could come to on reading this book. In short, a fascinating story let down by a very sub-par ending.
4.0 out of 5 starsGood read, but a bit rushed at the end.
Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2006
This book and its predecessor prove that Asprin (and Del Carlo) can write "serious" fantasy. Strangely enough, I found all the major characters sympathetic, even the "evil" ones. Without going into details, Aquint may not be a role model, but he does recognize and deal with complex ethical issues. Even Dardas has his moments, though he is the most one- (two-?) dimensional of the bunch. It takes talent to show a story from both sides while maintaining balance.
Overall, I found this book worth the price. However, I do have a couple of minor quibbles with the work and these prevent me from giving it five stars. First, there is one event that occurs in the Praulth storyline which seems somewhat gratuitous. Second, the ending feels rushed. I am not sure if there is a sequel planned, but the way a lot of the threads are tied up off-stage seemed a bit weak to me.
Those two complaints aside, I recommend the book (and Wartorn: Resurrection as well).
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 20, 2012
This duology was a big disappointment. When I read a book, I hope to like at least one of the characters, and it is expected that you will dislike the villain; right? In this book, and the one preceding, there are six character, and the story is told in slots from the perspective of each of the characters, each chapter being dedicated to each characters in turn. I may have missed some too subtle clue, as to which of these character was supposed to be the hero, and which the villain, because as far as I was concerned, all six were dreadful people, with nothing to recommend any of them. I found myself not caring whether the characters won, lost or drew in the war that was the action and main plot in this tale. All in all, a very unsatisfying story with a bunch of characters who lacked any saving graces.