Top positive review
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Another excellent book.
on 9 January 2005
Once again Arithon barely escapes the reach of his emnity-cursed half-brother Lysaer. He hides in the desolate land of Vastmark, making plans to thwart Lysaer's massive army. The Master of Shadow's first move is to capture his enemy's beloved wife.
In the previous books Wurts seemed to be suggesting that Lysaer and Arithon are both good men, who merely misunderstand and misjudge one another because of the Mistwraith's curse. Here, however, she finally seems to admit that Lysaer has been driven insane. It always bothered me that people always believed Lysaer and always distrusted Arithon, but Wurts changes that here as the world at large begins to see the truth. As ever, Wurts' battle scenes are well written and evocative, particularly the bit in the canyon (even if it was a little predictable). However, this book's greatest element is the development of Dakar's character. He slowly changes from the argumentative drunk of the previous books into something much more like a down-to-earth member of the Fellowship. Speaking of which, the sorcerers are presented brilliantly once more. I've always loved the idea of the Seven all having very different characters and yet being completely (well, except for Luhaine and Kharadmon) united by purpose.
Wurts' much maligned overuse of vocabulary may cause some people to struggle through this book once more (personally I don't mind her style in the least). Also, don't be expecting a proper ending to the trilogy. The Wars of Light and Shadow continue in the 'Alliance of Light' subseries, so the ending here is pretty inconclusive. Finally, on a personal note, Jinesse's loss of trust in Arithon really annoyed me. I mean, you don't abandon your friends on the word of a stranger, no matter how persuasive he might be.