Rating the Book: 5 out of 5
Rating of What the Book Thinks It Is: 2 out of 5
Thinking about the question of how the problems that the war against evil brought should be solved is something that fantasy is very poor at normally. This is despite the original high fantasy — Lord of the Rings — looking into this questions in several separate chapters. Mr Tchaikovsky has, however, rectified this problem here though the war comes to us in numerous flashbacks more than anything else. And, this approach is satisfying.
I liked the characters in this story who make a great team. I like the setting and the background of this world, which is very complex — possibly my main reason for having disliked the previous setup of the author — but that also seems to be the norm these days. There are numerous races and the interactions between all of these make for a compelling background to the quest that this book describes.
And, despite the five-star rating, this quest is what I liked least. Though the premise is that the war against evil is over and noq the consequences must be dealt with, the majority of the consequences felt like an aside to a hero trying to continue being a hero. For the real consequences, a look at the leadership of these various races and nations would have been necessary — along with their attempts to curtail further war and promote a reconstruction of their world. This book and this setting, from the viewpoint of some of the other people here, would have been the real book of ‘after the war’.
I liked it; I recommend it; but I think it fails in what it set out to do.