I am at the point with this series where I am still pretty invested, but I feel pretty battered by my reading of this one. I chalk this up to a few possibilities. One, this is the first of the three where I have read it instead of listening to it. I have a pretty clear sense of Michael Kramer and Kate Reading’s voices and how they create all of the characters. With both of the previous ones, I also went hiking a lot while listening to them. Two, this is the longest of the three by about 100 pages. And along with that, the interludes are shorter and more scattered and there’s a lot of side-ventures and other digressions that add to the overall value of the novel, but don’t necessarily make it more interesting or better to read. Three, the changes in the narrative structure strain a little. Maybe this book is more akin to Wizard’s First Rule or Wheel of Time in this way, but man, who isn’t ready for a closure by the end of the third book of a series. It’s hard to pace out 10 books worth of information. The last two books had a different pacing…the first one rushed to explain the world and set us up, and the second one led us to the closure of a giant battle and the reveal of a major enemy force. I am not clear what this one does, as a closing gesture. Other than really pushing the story forward for 1200 pages. It’s mostly all good but it’s more rough going than the last ones.
It’s a big investment to be sure, but I was drained by the end of this one, and even took a few days off during Thanksgiving to play Wolfenstein.