(This review may contain spoilers).
I posted a review for the final book in this series and remembering how I felt about that, I didn’t really have high hopes for this book. Having said that…
I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I did, however, think that there were a lot of the stereotypical fantasy characters that appeared in the previous fantasy series. Rabbit, for instance, was like Silk. And I recognised both Polgara’s and Flute’s personalities.
I did like Longbow, but I think he would have been infinitely more interesting if he’d had more weaknesses than just wanting to kill the creatures of the Waste. I couldn’t even really say that was a weakness, as it didn’t seem to have any negative impact on him.
I felt like, even though there was some serious underestimation of the creatures, the characters had it very easy. While there were some injuries and deaths, none of the main characters really seemed to be in any kind of danger.
I thought there could have been some more conflicts between the two armies, considering they were on separate sides of the war. I thought it was amusing to read about Veltan’s long ‘exile’ to the moon, but I was left with the sense of HOW did everyone bar Veltan know ‘the moon couldn’t be trusted’?
I did think passages of time were glossed over, which would have been fine, but there was the sense of huge changes in the world when Zelana retreated. There were two very conflicting sense of her. One character says she doesn’t like the humans very much and the other says she persuades people to do what she wants through love. Neither of those were shown very much, only told about.
I did like the fact that the bad guys were underestimated, but at times, it was difficult to remember what the whole war was. There were some elements of humour, but there was a lot of repetition in the book.
While I did enjoy reading this book for a fantasy read, I felt there wasn’t enough conflicts and it had too much in common with other books by the authors. It’s a shame, as David Eddings was one of my favourite fantasy authors when I was growing up.