Monday, June 4, 2007

The Strife is O'er, The Battle is Won...

...but instead of singing "Hallelujah" I'm thinking, "Eh, is that it?"
Previously I blogged about Sara Douglass's fantasy series, The Wayfarer Redemption. At that point I was reading the first trilogy, about an epic battle between good and evil, shaped by prophecy, and acted out by larger-than-life characters. It was a bit predictable, but still an interesting read.
I might not have picked up more books by this author, but since Paul had already bought them, I kept reading. The second trilogy begins in a quite promising way. Forty years after the epic battles of the first trilogy, the land is now ruled by the children of the characters in the first series. Instead of prophecy, the issues are about sibling rivalry, taxes, and competition for power. The archetypal heroes of the first trilogy turned out to be pretty mediocre parents after the battles were over, leaving their children ill-equipped to deal with the continual stresses of governance.
I was pleased by the direction the new series was taking. I had high hopes for it being a very different kind of story than the last series. But, guess what? All that prophecy in the first series was really just intended to set things up for the next series. Before long, demons are scourging the earth and everyone has forgotten about tax policy. The details have changed, but really this series didn't seem much different than the last.
And the ending? Well, apparently Sara Douglass is also a fan of the Narnia books, since her ending seems cribbed from The Last Battle (by C.S. Lewis). Except, I never really liked the ending of that book either. So I was also disappointed by the ending of this series. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but when it was over I just wondered why I had spent so many hours with it. Not bad books, but certainly something I would never re-read. I'd give them a B-.


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mueja said...