Friday, May 05, 2006

Crown of Stars (Kate Elliott)

Crown of Stars is the final volume in a series that I picked up halfway through, with Child of Flame.

As usual for this series, the author weaves together about 30 (I don't even know if I'm exaggerating) different storylines into a complex piece of political intrigue and dangerous "adventure." This book neatly ties up most of the dangling threads from the previous installments, but it's hard to read without knowledge of what happened before: it seems assumed that the reader is intimately and recently familiar with all the events that have already happened. For example, throughout the first half suggestions are made that Liath's daughter is dead, when she is merely being "fostered" among the Aoi, a development that occurred in the previous volume but which is not actually explained until halfway through this one.

The short epilogue serves to endcap the series from a perspective probably 30 or 50 years later than the events in the book by suggesting that all the main characters (but perhaps one) have died. Nevertheless, some (perhaps unanswerable) questions are left.

Conclusion: A cohesive and detailed fantasy, if you can get through all the books before it.

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