I am a completionist, so I will be finishing this series, even though it is ALL OVER THE PLACE, all caps well deserved. But I put off reading this book for a long time because it seemed like SJM was taking me on a detour to a country I knew nothing about with characters I didn’t know, and Chowl (who I really grew to dislike over the course of the first four books), and I was resentful about all of it. Plus, this thing is huge. It was supposed to be a novella originally. I think I got this book out from the library and returned it unread at least two times before I finally buckled down to read it. My thought process was basically, ughghhhhhhh, seven hundred pages of Choooooowl.
But then, I started it. And, I liked it? UGH. I did.
Even though SJM’s writing was still out of control*, and her fucking characters still pair up like heterosexual lobsters**, her plot here surprisingly wasn’t. It felt in control, and I was actually really interested in what was going on. (I did throw a mini temper tantrum, though, when I realized that there was going to be yet another romance between two characters who, in my opinion, would be perfectly serviceable as friends. But then I realized the whole book was actually centered around their romance, so I just gave up and gave in.)
*From one of my GR status updates: “I am overall enjoying this but some things still annoy me. For instance, the use of the word thrice. Why? And eyes cannot dance with shadows. That is not a thing. Also, SJM seems to think many people have the ability to convey complex sentences to each other with just a look. No. Use your words.”
**There is a f/f pair of lovers in this book that play a minor role, so at least that’s something. I think they might be the first ones, though. Is Aedion bi or am I just making that up?
I was even much less annoyed by Chowl by the end. He realized what a dickweasel he’d been, which his all I really wanted, but the realization scene was a bit underwhelming, and a lot overwritten, to the point that I wasn’t really clear what exactly he was realizing, except about his having been a dickweasel and how he shouldn’t do that anymore.
The last book is over a 1,000 pages, FYI.
[3.5 stars, rounded up because I read it in two days]