Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2020
Yes, I bought all three books. And yes, I read all three of them.
Which surely means I enjoyed them enough to keep me going?
Yes and no.
There is something immensely satisfying about a hero who overcomes immense odds. Loving detail and an immersive world take time to build up, and I thought this was what the first book was meant to be.
All fine so far. It was, for me, an enjoyable read, the kind that moves like a gentle river, plenty of scenery.
Accordingly, I expected more action in the second of the series. Which did and did not happen. There was a lot of unnecessarily angsty behavior from pretty much every main character. Everybody was to be mysterious and having such deep, dark secrets ... but there is MORE!
More weird, irrational and (if one was to believe the character set-up of the first book) atypical behavior. All of that, seemingly, in an effort create a towering mountain of tension. Instead, it fizzled and puzzled.
On top of that some extremely violent descriptions of torture, warfare, which I found to be jarring. It felt as if someone had told the author to "spice things up a bit"; it didn't, it felt out of context. There was absolutely no need to go into that much detail.
It took me months to force myself reading the second book. Unfortunately, I had already bought all three of the books (since I normally like the author's work).
A power out and no other new books to read finally got me started on the third installment. I must admit, since the second part was a chopped up experience, one that left me feeling out of the loop, that might have played into my disconnect from the final book.
Honestly, at this point I had stopped caring about the main character. He'd proven himself incapable of learning from his (often painfully avoidable) mistakes. Worse yet, he failed to learn to master even one of the skill vital for his advancement. Instead, I felt the hero wallowed in his imperfection, to the point that I felt a strong urge to slap him across the back of his head. Books, to me, offer escape from reality; if instead my maternal instincts are forced to engage, I call that frustrating.
Stubbornly, I slogged through the rest of the book. After all, the promise of a big showdown had been dangled before me and I was hoping this would be the big reveal, the masterful untangling and reweaving of what had become a dreary, gray mess.
Here comes the part why I was enraged enough to write a scathing, verbatose review, angry enough to keep me motivated for the week or so since I finished reading.
There IS no satisfying ending. It is botched, rushed and disappointing. Within very few pages (compared to the overall length of the series and especially the love of detail given to every other major event) all is "resolved". Sloppy, superficial and vague descriptions of events and illogical solutions permeate this final chapter of the series.
If you are looking for an engaging read, an immersive world, interesting character development and a logical, satisfying and well written end, this is not the series you want to buy.
(And in case that wasn't clear, this is Thea writing, not Jerry)