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As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews this series has divided opinion and I can certainly see both sides. However, in this final installment the whole thing moves up another gear and I would imagine that most who stick with it through to the end will be glad that they did. After a brief prologue we’re straight back into the action as this book continues on immediately from where the second left off, the fighting at River’s Edge. It would however be wrong to go too far overboard with the praise. Caldan’s navel is still regularly examined but the action to navel gazing quotient definitely improves. Some of his motivations and logical conclusions also continued to puzzle me at times though.
However, there is much more of what has been good in this series and less of the problems. The action and adventure is a little faster-paced. The interesting magic system is expanded upon and I’m again impressed by the innovative and clever ways that the sorcery is used in combat. The main characters including my personal favourite Amaden are given fates befitting their importance and the ending while perhaps a little contrived satisfied me as well as most. The last few hours of the book form a very fitting and spectacular conclusion to the main storyline.
A Shattered Empire also continued with some of the core themes that I have enjoyed in the previous books. Everything really does come at a price and the continuing difficulty for Caldan in choosing the correct path as the sheer duplicity of many of the other characters is revealed. Not many people or institutions are purely good or evil, much like real life.
In short I think that Mitchell Hogan has delivered very strongly in this final book. Some will have been put off this series but if you have been happy enough with the first two books I would definitely recommend seeing it through to the bitter end!
8 of 10 people found this review helpful
After listening to the first two novels in the series I was hooked and had grand expectations for the big finale. I was very disappointed in this final book and the way it was written.
I believe that the story was made far longer than the material could withstand. This series is well worth listening to and is entertaining in its entirety, however the last book is missing that great intrige that I had come to expect from the first two books.
Hats off to the narrative and the artistic manner in which he laid out this magical tail of love and war.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
The main character, Caldan, exhibits too many contradictory behaviors to be believable. He's a brilliant strategist, tactician, and sorcerer one minute and a bumbling fool the next, repeating the same mistakes over and over. He vacillates between unwillingness to kill the enemy to irrational willingness to kill allies. I suppose people like this exist, but stories aren't written about them, because they fail or die. Additionally, there are only about 6 characters in the book that demonstrate an average amount of rational, logical decision-making. I think it is reasonable to expect blind, irrational, fervent, behaviors from some people, but it was hard for me to swallow the behaviors of most of the peripheral characters. They were just too many standard deviations off of typical to be believable. These issues made it hard to enjoy the book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful