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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but beautiful
The title of this review sums up my feelings on Zindell's Ea Cycle as a whole: flawed but beautiful. I agree with previous reviewer "The Ringess" in that Zindell's usage of a first-person narrative severely, even fatally, limits this work. Oftentimes the protagonist, Valashu Elahad, "tells" us what happened off stage, and thus Zindell is cornered into committing that most...
Published on 22 Sep 2007 by Jonny Bardo, Spiritual Superhero

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but not in the same league as the Neverness series
Having fought my way through and enjoyed the previous three books in the Ea Cycle, I felt a little let down by this final book. From the writer's point of view I guess it was probably hard to avoid a fairly predictable conclusion to the series - find the Maitraya after innumerable close shaves and deprivations, have final battle with Morjin, win against all odds and live...
Published on 12 Jan 2009 by Amazon Customer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but not in the same league as the Neverness series, 12 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Diamond Warriors: Book Four of the Ea Cycle (Paperback)
Having fought my way through and enjoyed the previous three books in the Ea Cycle, I felt a little let down by this final book. From the writer's point of view I guess it was probably hard to avoid a fairly predictable conclusion to the series - find the Maitraya after innumerable close shaves and deprivations, have final battle with Morjin, win against all odds and live happily ever after. Zindell's style of describing the events through the experiences of Valashu is also a bit limiting, restricting his ability to add depth to the other characters and reducing the plot to a single storyline.

The Neverness series rates amongst the best SciFi I have ever read and whilst I would happily reccommend the Ea Cycle series as a good read, its not really in the same league as his earlier work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A stale end to an increasingly poor series, 28 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Diamond Warriors: Book Four of the Ea Cycle (Paperback)
This isn't the review I wanted to write as I am a definite David Zindell fan. Neverness was a magnificent achievement and the Requiem for Homo Sapiens an even greater one. Those four books married space opera, mathematics and philosophy with genuine literary prowess. They were amongst science fictions best works in recent decades.
His Lightstone novels? They have been a sad case of diminishing returns. The opening book (Lightstone) was at least a nicely written entertainment. Yes its characters felt like knock offs from Zindell's earlier works and the plot felt too mechanical (a quest to get magic stones to confront the greatest of evils (hmmm I'm sure I've seen that in final fantasy 1-6)) but the writing was so good that for most of the long sweep of that epic I could forget these short comings and simply enjoy what I was reading. However with each successive volume it became clear that Zindell was bereft of any good or new ideas of how to continue the story. By this final one I have to admit much of what I'm reading feels like outright plagiarism. I've little doubt that his apologists will tell me that the plot elements and conceits lifted directly from Lord of the Rings are meant to be an homage to that work. I don't buy it. I'd have taken that as a reasonable view when discussing the similarity of the character of Bardo in the Neverness to Shakespeare's Falstaff, but this is going way too far for me to be so easily accepting.
As I say this is all a real pity because Zindell can write and write beautifully. He has a rare gift for truly gorgeous prose. I hope he writes again, and will read whatever he publishes, but I'm fearful that what was once the brightest talent in the speculative firmament has now burnt out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but beautiful, 22 Sep 2007
The title of this review sums up my feelings on Zindell's Ea Cycle as a whole: flawed but beautiful. I agree with previous reviewer "The Ringess" in that Zindell's usage of a first-person narrative severely, even fatally, limits this work. Oftentimes the protagonist, Valashu Elahad, "tells" us what happened off stage, and thus Zindell is cornered into committing that most egregious error of fiction writing: "telling" more of the story than he "shows."

That aside, The Diamond Warriors completes Zindell's Ea Cycle, one of the very few fantasy series to deal explicitly and implicitly with themes of a spiritual nature in any depth or profundity. The cosmic-spiritual context of the Ea Cycle is exquisitely wrought and literally dwarfs most fantasy milieus, avoiding the usual extremes of the Scylla and Charybdis of modern fantasy: conventional cliche or unconventional novelty. The former ends up being a juiceless formula, the "same old, same old" of tired post-Tolkien elves-and-dragons fantasy; the latter tries so hard to be "avante garde" that it ends up being a superficial cliche in its own right, an instance of its own complaint.

While Zindell as an author may be unparalleled in the field in terms of depth of consciousness, the Ea Cycle as a story falls short of the upper echelon of modern epic fantasy classics such as Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen or George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice. Put the Ea Cycle in the next tier down with R. Scott Bakker and Robert Jordan.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Finish, 26 May 2007
By 
Jordan Allen "Jordan" (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
First of all i must say that the lightstone series is by far by favourite series of books that i have ever read. Thus it was with eager anticipation that i waited for the concluding installment in the series, the diamond warriors. This is a great book, that cannot be denied. The twists and turns keep you guessing untill right at the very end and zindells superb writing once again captures your imagination and allows youto empathise withg both the characters and the world in which it is place. The story decribes the build up to the final epic battle between Morjin and Valashu and the strive to once again gain the lightstone for the maietaya. Despite having some great twist to the plot you cannot help but feel these were a little tagged on, as if zindell wasnt sure how it was going to end when he first started writing and then decided on an ending that didnt quite fit. Several aspects to the story are introduced that, to really fit with the story, should have at least been mentioned in one of the other books in the series. Also the story's outline on the back doesnt seem to fit as it describes a huge betrayal to valashu which never actually takes place. Despite these problems it is still a great read and does bring the series to a nice conclusion. One cannot however feel slightly confused as to why new plot implications were introduced right at the end of the series which didnt seem to have any particular implications on the story as a whole.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars David, it is time to move beyond first person perspective..., 4 Jun 2007
I am a one-eyed fan of David Zindell. He is a superb writer in a genre not noted for its literary contribution. He is a convincing world-creator. And his expansion of consciousness themes gels nicely with my own mystical humanism. But, dear oh dear, this book is a lost opportunity. And most of it comes down to first person narrative. What do I mean? The strength of the earlier books arise from the main protagonist and his relationship with his fellow questers. And yet in this book (which is clearly expected to bring a conclusion to matters) much of the climax occurs with the main character immersed in a battle so huge that he cannot possibly keep on eye on how his friends tackle their own challeneges. The outcome? Some of the key storylines/antagonisms/questions are answered away from his narrative, often to the extent of the outcomes feeling brushed over or poorly thought through. What a let down after four books. Perhaps an even worse sin than this: the story of the Maitreya is handled brutally and shallowly by Zindell in a manner I am not used to seeing him adopt. There are ways to crescendo tension that can make the heart pound, and the eyes tear. But any follower of this series is likely to be stunned at the sheer insipidness of the what happens to the Maitreya at the climax. I am speechless and, yes, that is a pun.

That said, seeing the Valari kings reach out as one and tell Valaushu that THEY are his brothers - brothers of the spirit - was almost worth the other foolishness. Almost, but not quite.

Such a shame.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No pleasing everyone, 18 Sep 2007
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
As another conclusion to a trilogy it really does seem to be a case of to many authors currently seem to be doing fantasy by templates, the characters were stereotypical and as such were no memorable, with the principle antagonist being a paradox. After all how can a hero be so damn squeamish about blood yet excel at lopping off limbs and heads left right and center in the middle of the battlefield. A tale that really doesnt do much for the genre and as such is one that is easily as forgettable. One thing that I think needs to be established, thicker books doesn't mean better books, concentrate more on building characters and seeing what can be done in order to create something different rather than just sticking with the safe path. After all new authors like Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss are doing things differently, perhaps these two should be held up as shining examples of what should be looked at rather than sticking to the old tolkienesque prototypes.
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The Diamond Warriors: Book Four of the Ea Cycle
The Diamond Warriors: Book Four of the Ea Cycle by David Zindell (Paperback - 17 Dec 2010)
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