2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Better than expected,
This review is from: Darkwar (3) - Wrath of a Mad God (Hardcover)
At 516 pages, this is a lot chunkier than Into A Dark Realm -- and it shows. While there were definitely some interesting threads in IADR, I don't think they really had the story time to come to fruition. They do in this one. The incursion into the Dasati realm picks up pace in the story, with Pug, Magnus, Nakor and Ralan Bek (having met up with a surprise visitor in the last book) meeting the White and the Bloodwitch Sisters in full. That surprise visitor both pleased and annoyed some people -- we learn more about his nature, as we do about a lot of characters, particularly two of my favourites: Ralan (who really comes into his own among the Dasati) and, gambling, extremely powerful, funny Nakor.
The "three worlds at stake" bit is very true in this novel, as not only is the Dark God of the Dasati trying to force his way into the first realm -- which the planets Midkemia and Kelewan call home -- but Dread also seem to be making incursions, too. Something which is baffling everyone. It seems that even the Nameless One -- the god of absolute evil -- is trying to stop this happening. Kelewan is also under threat; as we know from the last book, the Dasati managed rifts to Kelewan ... well they're are about to manage some more!
Valko, the Dasati, upon which their prophecy -- not too much emphasis on it, which was great for a prophecy hater like me! -- hangs plays a large part in this novel, but we didn't really see his character develop that much. To be honest, I don't really think it was really very possible. The Dasati while fascinating, and on the road to becoming "normal", have been restrained by millennia of barbaric tradition -- and though the White are different, they still have to fight those murderous impulses. We did, though, see Martuch -- one of my favourite Dasati -- and others show a dry sense of humour which didn't require the spilling of blood.
Miranda is also a much stronger character in this book -- even if she does occasionally mention how much she misses Pug a bit too much -- and while at the end of Into A Dark Realm I was surprised and a little annoyed by how easily she was taken by the enemy ... well, it was just as easy to escape. There's also a new character called Jim who seems to be Jimmy the Hand reborn -- while this is explained, it was still a bit too similar and still a bit too easy for my liking.
I really enjoyed the ending to Wrath. Epic on scale -- beyond anything we've seen, even Magician and the Serpentwar Saga --, very tragic, but still hopeful, and then, with that epilogue -- bitter-sweet, darkly amusing and wrapping up another mystery. With Wrath of a Mad God there was more sense of closure than at the end of any of the other cycles -- there are of course some mysteries left. I'm not to sure whether they will play any part in the next few books, but I found a new race introduced -- the Quor -- to be extremely interesting, and I have a few guesses to what they are -- guesses which will, of course, be wrong! Beyond that it will be interesting to see if there any other travels to the Dasati to give them a helping hand -- and the Tsurani.
I really enjoyed this one, and it is -- with a few flaws -- still one of the best Feist book of late. I stayed up very late for this one. 9/10. Another thing: where are the maps?! Where are the be-damned ... Oh, enough of that. I don't like maps, anyway ;)
This volume wraps up the Darkwar cycle; there is now the two book cycle, Demonwar, then the three book cycle, Chaoswar, and the series is complete.