Thursday, 24 March 2011

King's Wrath by Fiona McIntosh

This review was written for The David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy

King's Wrath
It was with some trepidation and apprehension that I approached the final instalment of the Valisar Trilogy. In the year that has passed since I read the second book of the series, I managed to read the Percheron Trilogy, and found it lacking in the ending department.

Much had happened already in last 2 books, and I was expecting another action filled story. There was a sense of finality to this book - all the players were known, they were all getting into position, showing their cards, all converging to the same point.

It took me a bit to get (re)used to this world, to remember some of the minor characters and what had happened. But once I was fully reacquainted with it, the pages flew by, and I kept wanting to know what would happen next.

Like the previous two books, this one also is not for those who are easily squicked, as it provides a good example of the darkness of the human mind, and what people are willing to do to get what they think is rightly theirs. Mind you, it isn't all dark and evilness; there is a balance, with some great characters that are the reverse of that coin.

As an ending to the series, King's Wrath fills it purpose. Yet there are still some questions left unanswered (albeit only minor ones), and there is a thread left hanging in case the author ever decides to revisit this world.

I'm of two minds regarding this book. On the one hand, I really liked how my favourite character turned out, something that I was kind of expecting (since book 1), but it was quite nice to see it come to fruition. On the other hand, it all seemed a tad too easy. I was expecting a bit more struggle and uncertainty to the difficult decisions that some of the characters were facing.

I also liked that the problems and ideas I had while reading certain parts, were properly answered a few pages after - seeming like the author thought of other possibilities besides the obvious.

All in all, I enjoyed reading King's Wrath. It didn't disappoint - there was a lot action, and good characterization. Also, it didn't confirm my fears - it was a good ending to the characters' story, there is a resolution to the biggest problems, even if at points it might not be the one we wished for.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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