|Author: Dave Duncan
This book has a promising
start, with a powerful female protagonist and a promising premise.
The system of magic takes the standard "Four Elements" and puts an extra
twist to it. The concept of the King's Blades is somewhat novel and
promising as well. However, the beginning quickly becomes a thinly-veiled
history of Britain, with the female lead becoming Elizabeth I in all but
name. The book does take more creative direction toward the middle,
only to mire itself in one of the all-time great cliches that a writer
can fall into. If you for any reason feel the need to read this book,
you'll have the ending figured out as soon as Ironhall gets trashed and
one of the Blades starts talking about time travel.
The book ends after the heroine
punches the reset button, and in the events of two pages, it is established
that three-quarters of the story never happened. Personally, I found
this ending to be a total cop-out. I did some research and discovered
that this is the third book of a trilogy, and it unfortunately turned into
a device to fix the inconsistencies of the previous two books. At
the end I was left with an incredible sense of wasted time and effort--the
relationships that I rooted for and the story that I had be come engaged
in HAD NEVER HAPPENED. I was disappointed.
There is a reason why I found
this book in the discount bin at Atlantic Books, and it wasn't because
they were closing for the season.