In this, the 3rd and final book of the series, Seyonne has to battle some demon guy in another realm or something. I was even more lukewarm on this one than the 2nd one, Revelation.
Why? Seyonne spends too much time brooding. Now, brooding in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. But he does it a lot (from what I can remember), and I found myself skipping many paragraphs. Another thing is that I kept thinking, "When is this going to end?"
Not a good thing for a story.
However, as in the 2nd book of this series, this is not your run-of-the-mill story, which is why I'm giving it 4 stars. If you've got the 1st & 2nd books of the series and you really enjoy the main character, then you may want to give this book a chance.
Good Plot, good action fantasy
I enjoyed this series a lot.
Full of texture and traditional magic and lots of action. Part of a three book series.
This concluding novel in Berg's Rai-Kirah trilogy was better than the second volume, but still didn't quite live up to the promise in the first. The bones of a brilliant epic jutted throughout the novel, but somehow that epic never quite took shape.
The novel felt pulled in too many directions. There are multiple conflicts going on throughout -- mundane civil war in the Derzhi Empire, supernatural war with the rai-kirah, and conflicts with the gods -- but rather than building on each other, these conflicts seemed to be distractions to each other. I always wanted to be following the action somewhere else, to the detriment of the action I was reading at the moment.
The characters, too, fell just a bit short. The first novel lived and died by the characterization of Seyonne and Aleksander, and for the most part it lived. But by this third novel there is a large cast of ancillary characters, and all of them were never more than shadows. I could see that they were fascinating, complex people, and their complexity drove the story at all points, but I never felt any connection to them, so their motivations were at times obscure and their pain never connected with me.
Seyonne and Aleksander, too, suffered in this novel. The first novel was about those two men learning to trust each other despite having absolutely no reason in the world to have that trust, but somehow in this novel that trust appeared lost. Neither man ever stopped a moment to tell the other what was going through his head, and that was the basis for far too many conflicts. I realize that the silent, brooding hero is a revered fantasy trope, but I have always been of the opinion that the charming, communicative man would get far more done.
Still, despite all those frustrations, I was moved fairly quickly through this novel, and the scope was certainly large enough to satisfy. The world is fundamentally reshaped in this novel, and that is something you always want to see in a good fantasy epic. I have some other minor quibbles: Berg still struggles with pacing, and given what we discover about the gods I was left with quite a few questions about where prophecies come from, but for the most part anyone who has read the first two novels in this series should definitely read the third.
I am having such a hard time finishing this one. I loved book one, though it seemed like it wasn't going to be nearly as good as the Avonar books. But, it picked up. Book two was pretty good as well. But this one... I'm just not clear on what's going on or why it is happening. This really makes it hard to sit down and read the book. I read on the train to work every day, so it usually takes me nly a couple of days to finish a book. This one is taking me several weeks... So, really I am just not pleased with this one, but I have to dog it out and finish it.
This is the third book of Berg's sword and sorcery trilogy, preceded by TRANSFORMATION and REVELATION. There are all kinds of twists and turns in this plot, and it seems as if nothing is what it appears to be. And the questions the hero has to cope with---What are the proper uses of power? If it's offered to you, should you always take it? What if you can save the world but lose own your mind or soul?
From back cover: By the time Seyonne survived 16 years of slavery, reclaimed his life, and watched it slip away again, he had undeniable efidence of the gods. Now, exiled from his homeland, he is left to face the demon inside his soul. Meanwhile, the Hamraschi (clan) have sworn to destroy Prince Aleksander and anyone who shelters the deposed Prince. Assassins abound. And when Seyonne journeys across the borders of the world to finally confront his own haunted dreams and put them to rest, he discovers instead something both unreservedly terrifying and thrilling. Soon he will become all that he ever feared . . .
This was another excellent book by Carol Berg. It is the last book in the Rai Kirah Trilogy following Seyonne and Prince Aleksander (1st- Transformation, 2nd- Revelation). In every one of her series she has such amazing character development and vivid descriptions of settings and cultures that you can really picture a day in life of their world as well as the adventures presented. You should be able to do this with any good fantasy novel, but few authors achieve it to the depth and ease that Carol Berg does. I would also highly recommend her Collegia Magica series, Lighthouse Duet, and Bridge of D'Arnath series).
If you like sexy, tormented, demon-possessed men, then this series is for you.
I'd read the first two (Transformation and Revelation) quite a few years ago, so it took me a little bit to get into it, as it all came back to me.
The book follows the same protagonist, Seyonne, as he struggles to integrate the man he is with the demon inside him. Meanwhile, he supports his friend and king, Aleksander, through a political coup that deposes him...
I remembered absolutely loving the first two books. I liked this one as well (as I've liked everything I've read by Carol Berg), but it wasn't without flaws. Seyonne has absolute faith that Aleksander is a great leader, destined for great things. But in this book, seriously, he seems rather dumb and shortsighted, constantly letting emotion (and his short temper) rather than logic guide his decisions. I didn't see him as a potentially great king, or worthy of Seyonne's total loyalty.
This is a very unusual thing for me to say, but I also wished there was more romance throughout the book. I feel like it would have fit in. Instead, it's got a romantic interest just tacked on to the end, with absolutely no emotional build-up to it. I felt it was a missed opportunity. Instead, the main focus is on Seyonne's personal struggle to make decisions between power and human concerns, which are largely symbolized by his infant son, who isn't even realized as a character - he's just a 'baby.' Babies don't interest me much, so I felt a lack of involvement there. It's nice to see a man in a 'father' role, but even if there are reasons given, he's a pretty crappy dad. So yeah, I could have used more romance than a couple of lines bewailing the loss of the wife who tried to murder him.
The third novel of the revelation and transformation series by Carol Berg