I’m normally a pretty fast reader, as well as someone who usually wants their fantasy series to continue on forever, but The Core stopped that trend. Taking an almost excruciatingly long two months to slog through, this was partly down to the time of year (work always gets crazier than normal in the lead up to Christmas) but also down to the fact that I was pretty much over this series by the end of the third book.
The end point that the series has been working toward, The Core sees Arlen, Ahmann, Renna, and two of Ahmann’s relatives/bodyguards attempt to descend to the Core in the company of a demon prince in order to finally end the war being waged across the world between demons and humankind. Meanwhile, up above, our remaining characters all get significant promotions while the world is torn down around them.
The same problems that were rife for me in the other books became even more irritating in this one – aside from a very small handful of named characters, none of the deaths felt like they had any emotional impact, the fights themselves (of which there were many) all soon started to resemble one another, and add in that every named character is the best whatever they do that the world has ever seen – whether that be singer, healer, fighter, strategist – and it meant that, despite the world literally being demolished around them, the stakes were never really that high for me as a reader.
If this had been a trilogy, I think I would have enjoyed it far more as there are still some very good things in the earlier books that I did enjoy. But the additional 1600 pages of nothing but the same as had happened before really did a number on it, and meant that this last book was just a relief to finish.