on 7 December 2011
During the last three books, Rik and his allies have faced down undead juggernauts, ancient spider demons, malevolent squidpeople and sorcerous assassins, so the reader would be forgiven in wondering if King had any more challenges to throw at them. Worry not, because in this installment the protagonists have to deal with nothing less than a magical apocalypse.
The war that has been building between the Taloreans and the Sardeans throughout the previous books finally erupts, and due to the conflict being hijacked by followers of the Shadow, plague and a seemingly unstoppable army of the undead ravage the land.
Sardec and the other Foragers are caught up in the struggle, and soon find themseves making one last desperate run for freedom, low on supplies and with refugees in tow. King really sells the desperation of these sequences well, and even though their situation seems hopeless, you will be rooting for them to make it.
We also gain a new POV character in Tamara, Rik's half-sister and Sardean assassin. Her dilemma when she uncovers the darkness at the heart of her own country is well depicted, and her perspective is a pleasing counterpoint to the Talorean characters. King does not excuse or avoid her past misdeeds, but as most of his characters are drawn with shades of grey, her voice is not as jarring as it could be.
It still remains largely Rik's story, as he completes his journey from simple soldier to powerful shadow-walker. His struggles with the voices in his head are equally as important as the last grand mission he must embark on: a stab at the very nexus of the enemy in an attempt to save the world itself.
It would appear from the ending that this sequence, at least, of the Terrarch Chronicles is over. This is a brilliant finale to what has been an excellent series, and I for one hope that King will be returning to this fascinating world very soon.
on 7 April 2012
Read them all in a matter of days and as other reviewers have said, they are un-put-downable!
After finishing them all, I would put this author up there with the best - they're that good and now off to download anything and everything he's written!
Just hope there is more to come from Rik n his Pal's. The World building has epic scope and tonnes of mileage - We've not even met the 'Princes of Shadow' or the 'Shadow God' yet, so come on Bill..... Please!