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I actually loved the story, but the '4 out of 5' rating and the title of this review stem from the fact that I feel, like others who have written reviews here, that this book and the last should have been a single work - the majority of "Lord of Mountains" was simply a continuation of "Tears of the Sun." It is clearly necessary for there to be continuity between books in a series, but this one felt more like a "Part II" of "Tears" rather than a sequel that could stand alone. Each of Stirling's other novels in the series constantly built on each other, but could easily have been grabbed at random and, while the reader might scratch his/her head for a moment pondering details, would still have been able to convey the essentials of the story - not true here.
However, even if "Lord of Mountains" should have been packed into the last book,it was another fantastic installment in a unique and fulfilling series. I have been with the story since "Dies the Fire," and I read the Nantucket series, from which the Emberverse series sprang, before that. Never before has a series captivated me as much. I "plug in" on my commute to and from work, at my lunch break, and any time I have a spare moment or two - it is definitely worth the read (or listen)!
Still, as much as I love the series, I hope "The Given Sacrifice" draws the story to a close before there are "diminishing returns;" i.e., before the story stagnates. I have heard rumors that another series will follow this one, beginning yet another Changeling generation's tale, but - and it pains me to say it with as much as I have loved all of these - I sincerely hope not. I'm sure, as with other writers, that S.M. Stirling still has volumes of story and wonderful things to add to the world of The Change locked in his creative mind, but, as the saying goes: sometimes more isn't better, it's just more...all good things not only do, but should, come to an end, or they don't stay good things.
One thing that impresses me about all the audiobooks in the series (Nantucket and Emberverse) is that Todd McLaren has a) been used for every book and, b) he, as a narrator, is so consistent in his tones, his portrayal of each character, and his ability to draw emotion from the "reader" based on his performance. There are a good many audiobook series wherein a different narrator steps in each time, or there is a disconnect when a specific narrator goes on "hiatus" for a book or two, then returns (often only to forget their characters and the overall feel they themselves set up). McLaren is a master!
In short, thumbs, way, way up for the entire 12-book (so far) story and for Todd McLaren's performance of it, but Mr. Stirling: as awesome as it is, please wrap it up before the wonder and magic start to fade!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
If you enjoyed the previous books with no complaint, then this is for you.
Would you ever listen to anything by S. M. Stirling again?
The books that followed 'The Protector's War' turned me off from S. M. Sterling books. I only finished the series out of my foolish need to finish what I start. His descriptive writing style gripped me in the first three books of this series because it was used to describe the world as it changed. Once that change was complete I got tired of hearing the same descriptions. By the fifth book it was clear that Matilda wasn't attractive, that Rudy was, that 'changlings' got tired of hearing about the pre-change world, what each and every battle cry is durring a fight, what the smell of battle was like, what the callouses are like on the hands of a fighter, and how deft everyone who was raised by a ruler is at making strategic decisions.
I was also frustrated by how much time Sterling used to set up the next few books in the series. I didn't care about the children that would be the adventurers in the next series. It felt like he was just writing to sell more books.
What does Todd McLaren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Todd McLaren was an effective narrator for the series. I don't want to detract from his reading at all. I put all of the blame on this series to S. M. Sterling
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Other books in the series perhaps, but this book was a frustrating read with little closure.
Any additional comments?
If you have gotten to this book then you've dedicated some serious time to these characters. Like me, you'll probably read it anyway. Just don't be disappointed if it doesn't provide any of the closure you were hoping for. I really enjoyed the first three books in this series, but the magic of the founding leaders was lost by this time. Even the final battle was disappointing. I'd say more, but details would be too filled with spoilers.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
First important point, if you're new to Emberverse don't start here. However for existing fans this is a short story which can be split into two parts, the 2nd part for me although shorter is much better with some real universe building and set-up for future books.
Got it as soon as it was available. As story draws to the conclusion and one more instalment was announced I was not expecting too much.
Evan then " disappointment" is understatement.3/4 of the book are the references to the previous events and rest is all about nothing.
I will get the last one though but I do not mind to wait for it for another 10-20 years; by then I will need all the story "recapitulation" and ...: why he hates Poles (S. M. Stirling I mean)???