Barbara Hambly has a habit of writing fantasy that is very rich and detailed. This series is her best, I believe, although the books do not stand alone. This is the last in the series. This book explores an interesting relationship between the church and politics in Darwath much like early Catholicism must have played in Europe. As the survivors of the Dark Ones huddle together, people make both individual and collective bids for power, even while civilization crumbles beneath their feet. The future of the human race is held in the hands of a much-despised wizard and the trust the earthling scholar and warrior, Gil, has for that same wizard.
A nice wrap-up to the trilogy. Things are not as they first seemed!
Why did it EVER go out of print?, November 11, 2000
Reviewer: Monte Crooks (Durango, Colorado USA)
In the early 80s, I read the Darwath Trilogy, then, over the years, I read it again, and again, and. . . well, you get the gist. Unfortunately, in one of our frequent moves, the box of books in which I'd placed the trilogy turned up among the "missing."
By then, the books were out of print. I've dogged the book stores since in hopes it would be brought back. It looks like the trilogy finally is. THANK GOODNESS. Along with Asimov, Eddings, and Tolkien, Barbara Hambly is one of my favorite and most re-read authors. I've not met anyone who hasn't loved the Darwath, and doubt that I will. I'm sure you will, too.
This is the final book in Hambly's "Time of the Dark" series. I read this series, oh, about 20, 25 years ago for the first time. I always remembered it, which is kind of unusual, given the speed and voracity with which I read. I found two sequels, "Icefalcon's Quest" and "Mother of Winter," which reminded me of the original trilogy. I am so glad that I found & re-read them. This trilogy is not as formulaic as the Sun Wolf & Starhawk books (though I mostly enjoyed them, too). The characters are vivid and individual, with both virtues and faults that make them realistic and sympathetic. The basic story is a twist on the "ultimate enemy of humanity" scenario. The story also benefits from Hambly's extensive historical research, as she adds grounding details that give her world & time color and life. Her pacing is generally fast enough to support intense situations & to hold interest, yet she makes time for the intimate scenes that humanize the protagonists and the plot.