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The Dark Defiles [Format Kindle]

Richard K. Morgan
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Chapter 1

“Well, that’s that, I suppose.”

Ringil Eskiath weighed the desiccated human jawbone glumly in the palm of his hand. He crouched on the edge of the opened grave, fighting off a vague urge to jump down into it.

Looks cozy down there. Out of the wind, dark and warm . . .

He rubbed at his unshaven chin instead. Three days of stubble, rasping on calloused fingers, itching on hollow cheeks. His cloak, puddled about him where he crouched, was soiled at the border and soaking up water from the rain-­drenched grass. The shoulder of his sword arm nagged from the unrelenting damp.

He shut out the ache and brooded on what lay below him in the grave.

They’d come a long way for this.

There wasn’t much—­shards of wood that might once have formed a casket, a few long strips of leather, cured stiff and crumbling. A mess of small bone fragments, like the leavings of some overenthusiastic soothsayer on the scry . . .

Gil sighed and levered himself back to his feet. Tossed the jawbone back in with the rest.

“Fucking waste of five months.”

“My lord?”

Shahn, the marine sergeant, who’d climbed back out of the grave and now waited close by the mounds of earth his men had dug out. Behind him, the work party stood around, soil-­ and sweat-­streaked, entrenching tools in hand, scowling against the weather. Whoever dug this plot all those centuries ago, they’d chosen a spot close to the cliffs, and right now there was a blustery wind coming in off the ocean, laced with fistfuls of sleet and the promise of another storm. The three Hironish guides they’d hired back in Ornley already had their hoods up—­they stood farther from the grave, watching the sky and conversing in low tones.

Ringil brushed the traces of dirt off his hands.

“We’re all done here,” he announced loudly. “If this is the Illwrack Changeling, the worms sorted him out for us awhile back. Stow tools, let’s get back to the boats.”

A tremor of hesitation—­hands working at tool handles, feet shifting. The sergeant cleared his throat. Gestured halfheartedly at the soft-­mounded earth beside the grave.

“Sire, should we not . . . ?”

“Fill that in?” Ringil grinned harshly. “Listen, if those bones stand up and follow us down to the beach, I’ll be very surprised. But you know what—­if they do, I’ll deal with it.”

His words carved out their own patch of quiet in the rising wind. Among the men, a touching of talismans. Some muttering.

Ringil cut them a surreptitious glance, counting faces without seeming to. A couple of those he saw had been around when he took down the kraken, but most were on the other ships at the time; or they were aboard Dragon’s Demise but in their bunks. It had been a filthy night anyway—­rain and howling wind, bandlight muffled up in thick, scudding cloud, and the encounter was over almost as soon as it began. All but a handful missed the action.

They had reports from their comrades, of course, but Ringil couldn’t blame them for doubting it. Killing a kraken, at the height and heart of an ocean storm by night—­yeah, right. It was a stock scene out of myth, a lantern-­light story to frighten the cabin boy with. It was a fucking tale.

It was five weeks now, and no one was calling him Krakenbane that he’d noticed.

He supposed it was for the best. He’d held enough commands in the past to know how it went. Best not to disabuse your men of their tight-­held notions, whatever those might be. That went in equal measure for those who doubted him and those who told tales of his prowess. The actual truth would probably scare both parties out of their wits, and that, right here and now, was going to be counterproductive.

They were twitchy enough as it was.

He faced them. Put one booted foot on the forlorn, shin-­high chunk of mossed-­over granite that served the grave as marker. He pitched his voice for them all to hear—­pearls of dark wisdom from the swordsman sorcerer in your midst.

“All right, people, listen up. Anyone wants to sprinkle salt, go right ahead, get it done. But if we stay here to fill this hole in, we’re going to get drenched.”

He nodded westward, out to sea. It was not long past noon, but the sour afternoon light was already closing down. Clouds raced in from the north, boiling up like ink poured in a glass of water. Overhead, the sky was turning the black of a hanged man’s face.

Yeah—­be calling that an omen before you know it.

His mood didn’t improve much on the way back to the boats. He took point on the meandering sheep track that brought them down off the cliffs. Set a punishing pace over the yielding, peaty ground. No one made the mistake of trying to stay abreast or talk to him.

By way of contrast, there was raucous good cheer at his back. The marines had loosened up with the permission to lay wards. Now they tramped boisterously along behind him, good-­natured bickering and jeering in the ranks. It was as if they’d poured out their misgivings with the salt from their tooled leather bags, left it all behind them in the tiny white traceries they’d made.

Which, Ringil supposed, they had, and wasn’t that the whole point of religion anyway?

But he was honest enough to recognize his own released tension as well. Because, despite all the other pointless, empty graves, despite his own increasingly solid conviction that they were wasting their time, he, too, had gone up to those cliffs expecting a fight.

Wanting a fight.

Little vestiges of the feeling still quivered at the nape of his neck and in his hands. Enough to know it had been there, even if he hadn’t spotted it at the time.

Last resting place of the Illwrack Changeling.


This being the ninth last resting place to date. The ninth grave of the legendary Dark King they’d dug up, only to find the detritus of common mortality beneath.

Has to be an easier way to do this shit.

Really, though, there wasn’t, and he knew it. They were all strangers here, himself included. Oh, he’d read about the Hironish isles in his father’s library as a boy, learned the arid almanac facts from his tutors. And growing up in Trelayne he’d known a handful of people who’d spent time there in exile. But this was not knowledge with practical application, and anyway it was decades out of date. Fluent Naomic aside, he had no useful advantage over his fellow expedition members.

Meanwhile, Anasharal the Helmsman, full of ancient unhuman knowing when they planned the expedition back in Yhelteth last year, was now proving remarkably cagey about specifics. The Kiriath demon was either unwilling or unable to point them with any clarity to the Changeling’s grave, and instead suggested—­somewhat haughtily—­that they do the legwork themselves and inquire of the locals. I fell from on high for your benefit, went the habitual gist of the lecture. Is it my fault that I no longer have the vision I gave up in order to bring my message to you? I have steered you to journey’s end. Let human tongues do the rest.

But the Hironish islanders were a notoriously closed-­mouth bunch—­even Gil’s dull-­as-­dishwater tutors had mentioned that. Historically, they’d been know to harbor popular pirates and tax evaders despite anything the League’s heavy-­handed customs officers could do about it. To lie with impassive calm in the face of threats, to spit with contempt at drawn steel, and to die under torture rather than give up a fellow islander.

So they certainly weren’t about to spill the secrets of settled generations to some bunch of poncey imperials who showed up from the alien south and started asking oh, hey, we hear there’s this dark lord out of legend buried around here somewhere. Any chance you could take us to him?

Not just like that, anyway.

It took a week of careful diplomacy in and out of the taverns in Ornley and then out to the hamlets and crofts beyond, just to find a handful of locals who would talk to them. It took soft words and coin and endless rounds of drinks. And even then, what these men had to say was sparse and contradictory:

—­the Illwrack Changeling, hmm, yes, that’d be the one from the dwenda legend. But he was never buried up here, the dwenda took him away in a shining longship, to where the band meets the ocean . . .

—­crucified him on Sirk beach for a betrayer, was what I heard, facing the setting sun as he died. His followers took him down three days later and buried him. It’s that grave up behind the old whaler’s temple.

—­the Illwrack Betrayer was brought to the Last Isle, to the Chain’s Last Link, just as the legends say. But the isle only manifests to mortal eyes at spring solstice, and even then, only with much purifying prayer. To land there would require an act of great piety. You should ask at the monastery on Glin cliffs, perhaps they can make offerings for you when you return next year.

Yeah, that’s right—­jeers from farther down the tavern bar—­you should ask his brother out at Glin. Never known him turn down a request for intercession if it came weighted with enough coin . . .

You know, I’ve had about enough out of you whelps. My brother’s a righteous man, not like some worthless bastard sons I could—­

They’d had to break that one up with fists. Start all over again.

—­the grave you seek is on a promontory of the Grey Gull peninsula, no more than a day’s march north of here. On approach, Grey Gull may seem a separate island, but do not be deceived. Certain currents cause the inlets to fill enough at certain times to make it so—­but you can always cross, at worst you might have to wade waist deep. And most of the time, you won’t even get your boots wet.

Hagh!—­a graybeard fishing skipper hawks and spits something unpleasantly yellow onto the tavern’s sawdust floor, rather close to Ringil’s boot—­not going to find that grave this side of hell! That’s where the Aldrain demons took that one—­screaming to hell!

No, no, my lords, forgive him, this is just fisherfolk superstition. The last human son of Illwrack is buried at the compass crossroads, on a rise just south of here. Some say the hill itself is the Changeling’s barrow.

—­the truth, my lords, is that the dwenda hero was laid to rest in the stone circle at Selkin, where his retainers . . .

So forth.

It was a lot of digging.

But in the absence of the imperial expedition’s other main prize—­the legendary floating city of An-­Kirilnar, which they also couldn’t seem to find right now—­there really wasn’t much else to do but tramp out to site after site and dig until disappointed.

Disappointment is a slow poison.

Initially, and for some of the closer sites, practically every figure of note on the expedition tagged along. There was still a palpable air of journey’s end hanging over them all at that point—­a sense that after all that planning, all those sea miles covered, this was it. And whatever it was, no one wanted to miss it.

True above all for Mahmal Shanta—­he went out of sheer academic curiosity and at the cost of some substantial personal discomfort. Really too old for a voyage into such cold climes anyway, Shanta was still getting over flu and had to be carried on a covered litter by six servants, which was awkward over rough ground and slowed everybody else down. Gil rolled his eyes at Archeth, but in the end what were you going to do? The naval engineer was a primary sponsor of the expedition; his family’s shipyards had built two of the three vessels they sailed in and reconditioned the third, and even in illness he held onto a stubborn and canny command of the flagship Pride of Yhelteth.

If anyone had earned the right, it was Shanta.

Archeth’s reasons for riding along were twofold, and a little more pragmatic. She went because she was overall expedition leader and it was expected of her. But more than that, she badly needed something to take her mind off the lack of any Kiriath architecture standing above the waves offshore. Not finding An-­Kirilnar had hit her hard.

Marine commander Senger Hald went ostensibly to supervise those of his men detailed to the search, but really to put an unquestionable marine boot on the proceedings. And Noyal Rakan went beside him, to show the Throne Eternal flag and remind everyone who was supposed to be in charge. The two men were coolly amicable, but the interservice rivalry was never far beneath the surface, in them or in the men they commanded.

Lal Nyanar, captain of Dragon’s Demise mostly on account of Shab Nyanar’s substantial investment in the expedition, went along even when the prospecting was done overland, apparently out of some belief that he was representing his absent father’s interests in the quest. Gil didn’t really begrudge him; Nyanar wasn’t much of a sea captain—­the sinecure commands his father had secured for him back in Yhelteth were largely ceremonial or involved river vessels—­but he did at least know how to follow orders. Out of sight of his ship, he deferred to the expedition leaders and kept his head down.

The same could not be said of the others.

Of the expedition’s other investors who’d actually made the trip north, Klarn Shendanak stuck close to the action because he didn’t trust Empire men any further than you could throw one, and that included Archeth Indamaninarmal, jet-­skinned half-­human imperial cypher that she was. Menith Tand followed suit and stuck close to Shendanak because he harbored a standard Empire nobleman’s distaste for the Majak’s rough-­and-­ready immigrant manners and would not be one-­upped. And Yilmar Kaptal went along because he mistrusted both Shendanak and Tand in about equal measure. The three of them didn’t quite spit at each other outright, but having them at your back was like leading a procession of alley cats. Shendanak never went anywhere without an eight-­strong honor guard of thuggish-­looking second cousins fresh down from the steppes, which in turn meant that Tand brought along a handful of his own mercenary crew to balance the equation, and Kaptal flat-­out demanded that Rakan muster a squad of Throne Eternal just in case . . .

Egar usually tagged along at Gil’s shoulder just to see if there’d be any kind of fight.

Revue de presse

Praise for The Dark Defiles
“A finale that displays all the purposefully hard edges and grim magnificence that made the first two volumes stand out.”Kirkus Reviews
“Morgan brings his mammoth A Land Fit for Heroes fantasy trilogy to a rousing conclusion. . . . Expect surprises and suspense, along with the usual derring-do and entertaining characters.”Booklist

Praise for Richard K. Morgan and his acclaimed series, A Land Fit for Heroes

“Bold, brutal, and making no compromises—Richard K. Morgan doesn’t so much twist the clichés of fantasy as take an axe to them. Then set fire to them.”—Joe Abercrombie

“Morgan has taken traditional sword and sorcery tropes and given them a hard, contemporary kick. The anitithesis of the cosy fairytale, this one is for big boys.”The Times (London)

“A crisp stylist who demonstrates equal facility with action scenes and angst.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A full-immersion experience, uncompromising and bleakly magnificent.”—Kirkus Reviews

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 4238 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 658 pages
  • Editeur : Del Rey (7 octobre 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°37.487 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Superbe 15 février 2015
Par J.B.
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Tout ce que j'attendais pour le tome final. L'écriture toujours aussi puissante, les personnages toujours aussi crédibles, les aventures qui tiennent en haleine, et les révélations qui font se demander comment on a pu ne pas les voir depuis le début. De la très grande fantasy.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  139 commentaires
18 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A challenging book, but worth the effort 10 octobre 2014
Par Joseph - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
This is a challenging, exciting book. I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about it, but I couldn't put it down, so I'll give it five stars.

With the series now complete, Morgan has written a gritty, cynical take on the fantasy genre that shakes loose a lot of the conventions to produce something interesting. Set in a science and sorcery setting, the Land Fit For Heroes trilogy followed three companions through a widening set of challenges: Ringil, a deadly swordsman/black mage; Egar, basically a barbarian clan chief, and Archeth, the knife weilding last daughter of a race of technomagical aliens.

This is definitely not your father's Tolkein, but more like an even grittier Gene Wolfe. While Morgan includes a grand helping of mythic elements, he revels in dark realism. His characters swear, spend a lot of time discussing or experiencing sex, both gay and straight, and generally end up chopped, tortured, traumatised, and otherwise savaged by the war in which they find themselves.

There's an overarching plot that I can't really describe without spoilers, but it ultimately explains everything, satisfies the reader (at least me) and leaves enough of a twist at the end to leave me wondering how things turned out. But at bottom, this book doesn't depend on plot - it's more of a breakneck ride, where once the action gets going, almost every chapter has a life or death struggle that ends with a cliffhanger. Once things got going, I found it hard to put down.

I think the series also succeeds very well with the characters - I felt for and was interested in everyone from the heroes to their enemies to the random side characters, which is impressive.

My only gripe is the names. Even by the end of this book, I was still having trouble remembering who was who, either among the divine pantheon or the various side characters. Between that and my contiuing confusion over just how I feel about this series, I might lean towards 4 and a half stars, but it was original and engrossing enough that I'll round up. Assuming you are comfortable with explicit language, violence, etc. as well as some ambiguity, I'd strongly recommend this series.

Note: In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I received two review copies of this book - a softbound copy from the Amazon Vine program, and an e-book from Netgalley. Neither affected my opinion - I would gladly have paid for a copy.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Sad To See It End 18 avril 2015
Par Nikolas P. Robinson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A little more than six years ago I began a journey that started with reading The Steel Remains by Richard K Morgan. That journey ended today as I finished reading The Dark Defiles, the third novel in the brilliant 'A Land Fit for Heroes' trilogy.
This is one of those stories that I will likely remain sad to have seen reach an end. Each book in this trilogy has stuck with me long after I've finished reading the final page and I suspect that the whole trilogy will be sticking with me for a long time to come now that I've closed the cover on the final novel.
As a supporter of gay rights I was happy to have spent so much time in a fictional world where the main protagonist happened to be an unabashedly, openly homosexual warrior. The realms of fantasy tales are populated altogether too often by stereotypes; even when those stereotypes are fully fleshed out and three-dimensional, they are still painfully familiar templates that the author has chosen to propagate.
The character of Ringil Eskiath takes the dispossessed warrior prince character that is familiar enough to any of us who have read fantasy literature and turns it on its head. Not only is Ringil a gruff, cynical veteran of wars and battles that took place long before we are first exposed to his world, but he is perpetually involved in a balancing act between being a war hero of incomparable prowess and a pariah and outcast in large part because of his sexual preferences.
George R. R. Martin has done an excellent job of populating his fictional world with homosexual characters in A Song of Ice and Fire, but those characters typically lurk in the background and rarely display their proclivities with openness and pride. His characters are well-developed and fully realized in all respects, but there is something missing in that...something that Richard K. Morgan manages to pull off without falling prey to tired stereotypes and lazy two-dimensional characterizations.
Beyond the character of Ringil himself, the other major players in the novels are just as well conceived and portrayed with the same sort of gritty realism and individual personality that Morgan has bestowed upon Ringil. Most notably among the other characters in these novels are the remaining two protagonists; We have Archeth (a lesbian, drug addict, and immortal half-breed of a race that left the world sometime after the last great war) and Egar (a promiscuous and superstitious veteran of earlier wars) as Ringil's companions and friends.
These books are graphic in their portrayal of violence, frequently obscene, and thoroughly captivating. Morgan has always been an amazing author, with a knack for writing scenes that are positively gripping, full of tension and detailed violence as well as realistic dialogue and depth of character...and these books do not disappoint in that respect. Though his previous works have fallen more into the hard science fiction genre, his venture into fantasy literature honestly merits placing him solidly within the top ten fantasy authors of all time.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 6 Stars! 15 octobre 2014
Par CT - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
There is no better "grimdark" fantasy or SciFi out there.

This is the best SF/Fantasy series since the Heroes Die books. Super nasty, smart, complex, brutal, sad, genius. I don't know how anyone can write like this.

This last book has the largest sweep of the three. Things aren't just pulled together as in some third books - - the scope is actually broadened first, and only then slowly resolved. Or mostly resolved . . .

Mr. Morgan must have felt pretty good to get this done. I don't know what he is going to do next, but I hope he's got a lot more stories on the way. They bring me joy.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Otherwise great book marred by some serious flaws 11 octobre 2015
Par Tim Lieder - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
There is a lot to admire in this book. The plot twists are surprising enough. The main character is gay which is a welcome relief from the heteronormative standards in literature (especially fantasy where most writers don't even bother trying to write non-heterosexual characters). The historical material is mysterious and weird with ancient demons, immortal beings, self-conscious weapons annoyed that they couldn't commit genocide and gods who are playing with the main characters and betting on the outcome. Even though the book quickly coalesces into two separate hero's journey narratives, it never falls into the cliches of The Chosen One story where you got your Harry Potter who is always expected to win even if things get difficult.

Yet despite all there is to admire, I cannot recommend this book without reservations. The two main ones are the length and the lazy use of profanity.

I admit that I found myself skimming the book and even skipping chapters. As much as Morgan uses cliffhangers to end chapters, I still felt myself wanting to just get on with the story. Even though Robert Jordan and George R.R. Martin have created a market for doorstop books, there is a difference between a book that gets long because it is on a huge canvas that needs to address most of the concerns of the author and a book that's padded out because the need to edit was not addressed well enough. Since this book is basically two separate journeys for a magic woman and a gay barbarian, it does not really justify its 632 page bloat. What is intriguing in small doses becomes tedious over that length.

However, the main issue I had with the book was the profanity. It doesn't work here. First off, it's used so often that it doesn't mean anything. I get that the characters are trying to express their disgust for each other when they use it, but it seems so casually tossed off that it becomes boring. More importantly, it doesn't fit with the characters that the author established. If this is a world where the gods can interact with humans through corpses, what sense does it make that they are greeted with "F--- You!" and only respond with "You could be a little F---ing grateful." These don't sound like warriors, priestesses, immortals and deities so much as they sound like a bunch of frat boys who got drunk off of tequila for the second time in their lives and want everyone to know how f---ing great it is (and then the next morning to announce that they are f---ing hungover).

This would be a problem in any book or story, but since this is a fantasy story that takes place in a different world full of empires, ancient demons, magical weapons and immortal races who interact with humans, it makes even less sense. Not only is everyone casually tossing off profanity, they are casually tossing off 21st Century Profanity. I was so annoyed by the tension between fantasy world building and an author determined to shock the reader out of this world that I wrote a 1000 word blog post about how profanity works in society. Of course, many of the words we have for the words we don't use in polite society come from religious contexts (profanity, swearing, cursing) from a time when people believed that words had power of a divine nature. You swear an oath and you don't fulfill it and you can expect death, for example. By that same token, many of our invective words are from body parts and secretions that we don't necessarily want to be associated with (or at very least, we like to hide). The so-called F-word is an interesting taboo since it bespeaks a rather puritanical mindset where bringing sex out into the open and make it anything other than a private loving thing is fraught with hostility. In a non-puritanical society, would "F You!" be so hostile? Or would it be an offer?

And finally there is the use of anti-homosexual slurs - particularly "F----ot" which is shouted several times at the hero, Gil. There is even a tense family meeting, someone saying "lie not with a man as one lies with a woman" and a slight discussion about how homosexuality is a total sin but the upper echelons need not worry about such things (this is actually said by a slave trader). The problem here is why homosexuality would be just as taboo in this fantasy world as it is in ours. Morgan quotes the Bible when he is writing about a world that is so polytheist that the gods drop by to talk to people. Yet, he's writing about a warrior culture where almost everyone is a fighter and Gil seems to be the only homosexual of the lot (except for the odd boy that he picks up). One would think that there would be a great deal more acceptance of homosexuality in this imagined society but instead it's the same as our puritanical monotheist culture. Considering how much the Greeks cheerfully accepted and celebrated homosexual behavior in their heroes, it seems very odd that Morgan would not take those guys as models for sexuality when it comes to his characters that seemed more inclined towards Greek traveling heroism.

By using modern profanity, Morgan is basically saying that this entire culture is just like ours but with warriors and gods and demons. He doesn't even attempt to make up new taboos (even though for a place with an empire and an acceptance of slavery there should be a lot of different taboos) to provide the reader with profanity that would be useful and world building as opposed to lazy and capable of pulling the reader out of the story at a moment's notice.

For example, the Bible that Morgan weirdly quotes in regards to homosexuality has a term for pagans which is meant as an insult - uncircumcised. Whenever the Bible talks about "the uncircumcised" it is always in a negative light (and usually Samson is killing them). We don't use that term as an insult these days and it would be weird if we did. By that same token, trying to imagine a society that is different from our own is very difficult if the author keeps undercutting his own work by continually using terms that make no sense in the context that he's trying to convey.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Loved the series, hated the ending 30 juin 2015
Par amf0001 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Such an excellent series, such a disappointing ending.

I really loved the first book, The Steel Remains. I loved the characterization, the writing, the ending, all of it. I was along for the second book, but it felt more transitional to me, the characters didn't deepen as much, the plot didn't add as much, but I was with it. Then came this book, I was so excited to read it that I down loaded it in the middle of the night, so grateful that I could do that on my kindle.

And then I read, and read, and read some more. I didn't find anything added to the characterizations, and I felt Ringil slipping through my fingers, he was not the man we first met and he was turning more and more into a cipher for me. The writing is still excellent and the idea/descriptions of the grey spaces worked well for me. But the over arching them? The solution/revelation? That so didn't work for me. I just found the last quarter so disappointing in terms of plot that they whole series started to fall down for me. It felt both slow and rushed. The endless walking through the town, looking for people we knew weren't there. And then the huge reveals that were just thrown out in a sentence and then we moved on. And the weird cliff hanger last chapter. It just disappointed me, I was expecting something so much better based on what I had read before. There is great world building and set up but (IMHO) really inadequate follow through.

Strangely I still recommend the series. I love the characters and the world building/ complexity is just rock solid for the first 2 books. It's such an interesting journey, shame about the destination, but I'm still glad I read the first two and half of the books...
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