There comes a point in a fantasy series, or I guess any series but who would waste time reading anything else, where one is faced with an ultimatum. Either finish out the series or don’t. This decision is always extremely difficult for me. On the one hand, I don’t enjoy quitting, if I have made the time commitment to get as far as I have I might as well see it through. On the other hand, if I am already questioning whether I am going to finish the series it definitely means I shouldn’t waste my time. I always have some optimism in the sense that I believe that every series is one twist away from becoming truly great. The problem is if I do choose to finish out the book than the series, it really starts to feel like a slog and takes away the joy that I get from reading. But I am not going to love everything I read, I am a typically harsh critique who also believes there is value in reading stuff I don’t enjoy. Much like running in the rain, I am going to be miserable the whole time, but after finishing it I am mentally tougher for having done it.
The prime example of this is the Dark Tower series. That series sucked, I won’t waste more time describing why. Around book three I realized this, but since I had already finished three books, I figured why not. By book six I was miserable. Of course no spoilers but the end of that book is actually amazing, but literally I am talking about like 5 good pages out of 10000000. Finishing that series cost me the second half of last year.
After the first book in this trilogy, I wrote that I was willing to give the second book a chance. And I am not going to say that the decision was either good or bad. The second book improves upon the first, not in the sense of the characters growing or anything, but the plot flows a little more naturally. Once again the ending was underwhelming, I am going to assume at this point that either Morgan is saving up for a big battle at the end of the trilogy or small end battles are kind of his ironic twist on the end-battle. I mean it just seemed ridiculous that Ringil seems to have transcended into immortal being. His sneak through the church quarters was just flat out dumb. Are the gods helping him or are they not? Does anyone care? It seems like lazy writing to me, he finally gets captured and sent to the gray places, where he is repeatedly killed by Sethlaw but in the end he just magically breaks the cycle by yelling loudly or something. Then he comes back and dispatches Risgillen by once again yelling loudly and doing magic. Also an absolutely terrible choice to name one character Ringil and the other Risgillen. I mean Ringil goes by Gil half the book so this was just an unnecessary complication.
My problem with this book is it just feels like the plotlines had no purpose to them. Egar’s entire like love tryst came to nothing, his imprisonment mattered not in the slightest, and him in general served no purpose in the end. This was disappointing. Arceth is another one, shes on drugs, shes off drugs, she has lesbian sex, she gets cryptic messages from sentient pieces of useless machinery and overall nothing happens. It just left me feeling like we could cut out those two characters and save time.
This book suffers from a weak plot that in the end is saved from falling completely flat by magic. I mean does the resolution matter? The Dwenda were stopped with almost zero consequences and once again not a single major character died. Just all kind of feels like a low stakes game, especially when Ringil has already died. Unimpressed.
If I had to rate this thing I guess I will go with the old 5 outta 10. Not terrible, not good. I will read the third because I feel obligated at this point. I assume this thing will go like this “Ringil and the other two useless shits will meander somewhere looking for this pointless island. Eventually, after way too long, they find it but o nooooooo the Dwenda are trying for a third time to take over the world. After an underwhelming fight in which Ringil wins by being the reincarnated human sorcerer the Dwenda are stopped for good! Arceth finds some other Kiriath, Egar reunites with his love.”
Final Notes: R.I.P. Kevin Durant. God that was brutal.