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Superb narration. I have really enjoyed this series, and read / listened to all four books. The 4th book is set 15 years in the future, so the main plot line ends here with book 3. I gave the other books 4 and 5 stars for story, but this one lost a point because it felt like the author lost track of Nnanji's characterization towards the end. He behaved towards Wallie in subtle and overt ways that didn't fit. Also, some plot holes, explained below.
However, the characterization of the old priest Hanakora felt very authentic. Ktanji, also! Interesting, seeing how the terrible Shonsu ousted easygoing Wallie Smith when his old flame the minstrel appeared in the plot.
I wanted to know more about the river. Is there a source? Does it move?
Seemed to me that there wouldn't have been a guild of "scribes" a millennia ago, when writing didn't exist. Did those early scribes keep records with pictures? We never did find out why the scribes and the priests fought so long ago, developing an eternal feud, nor why the swordsmen sided with the priests.
I question the likelihood of repressing competing inventions and keeping so many inventions secret for so long. And I'm not really buying the disinterest the tryst leaders had in anything but swordsmanship and sutras.
Crime and punishment. I didn't buy how the sorcerer's fate was resolved, in a society where a slight dishonor ends in certain death.
On the up side, the epilogue of this book is beautifully written, heartwarming and thought provoking. Brought a tear to my eye, almost. Plus, the song "The Swordsmen in the Morning" is evocative. Loved that whole scene.
I also enjoyed book 4, and it helped to resolve some other minor uncertainties left hanging at the end of this book.
Good series. Fairly light fantasy, somewhat suspenseful, with humor and a thread of romance.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A very satisfying conclusion to the original trilogy, if not what you would expect. On the surface it seems to be frivolous fantasy but in reality it makes you consider many moral, and ethical questions.