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Mike Shevdon has created an engaging universe with intriguing back stories and clever use of historical references. The first two books in he series were really good as he set up the narrative for what I thought would be an epic climax. Alas it appears that he either ran out of enthusiasm or, more likely, the publishers deadlines forced a rushed and frustrating end to the series. In the first half as the characters struggle, not with world-threatening evil, but with mundane, domestic problems. In contrast the final chapters accelerate wildly from the labored, pedestrian pace of the first half to a frenetic, apocalyptic bloodbath in the space of a few pages. The baddies (so scary that the good Fayre use their legend to frighten small children) are put down so easily that one character dispatches 3 of the toughest shades without breaking a sweat. If they were that easy to defeat why bother with the whole exile/barrier thing in the first place? Two further irritations - firstly the incredibly seedy (and completely unnecessary) liaison between two of the characters that, for me, ruins the sense of wonder Mike created in his world. Secondly Niall's eventual fate. After the imaginative plot construction of the earlier books the ending strikes me as just... odd. A shame because I really like the world Mike has created. I sincerely hope he returns to the world he has created in the future. Just not with these characters.
One side note - the narration is fantastic!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed this book and loved seeing the characters evolve. It was an amazing finale but are there no more? This could go on and on so please Mike Shevdon keep writing them. 5 stars to the narrator Nigel Carrington you gave every character their own voice - brilliant!
I want more!!!!
I was disappointed in book 3 but this book made up for it. Gone (almost) is the whiny dialog. We return to interesting characters in a great story. The ending was unexpected, though not a surprise. As usual, Nigel Carrington did a superb job. Each character has his or her own voice and none are annoying. I'm looking forward to the next one!