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Good, but not as good as the first two..
on 19 September 2006
The final book in the Spoils of Time trilogy is good, wrapping up loose ends and introducing some new characters, including the complicated, greedy Charlie Patterson and the highly annoying Keir Brown. In my opinion though, there is too much of the Barty/Charlie storyline and not enough concentration on the London Lyttons; which is fair enough I suppose as Ms Vincenzi obviously wants to focus on the next generation. But the whole Charlie story is long-winded, with an unecessarily complicated background, and there are also some other annoying aspects; including Kit's childish attitude to Celia's marriage and Adele's frankly tiresome continuing depression over the events in Book 2. One other (final) thing that slightly annoyed me was the heavy hinting that went on; a lot of her books are like this and it always works very well; however it would have been interesting to know, for example, whether Celia and Sebastian were continuing their affair in this book, and when exactly they stopped.
However, these characters--even the annoying ones--are still compelling, and since we've been with them since the beginning it is still interesting finding out what happens.
The best bit of the book is the discovery of Celia's personal diaries, kept since the early 1900s and full of intruiging nuggets of information. Unfortunately, little of the diary entries are revealed and those that are are quite cryptic (one particularly interesting refernce to a highly personal, intimate entrance that mortified Giles comes to mind).
The ending is left open too, which is actually a good idea and works well. I did enjoy the book and of course, if you've read the other two (which are excellent) you'll read this anyway.