Rating: 3 out of 5
I wasn’t as great a fan of this book as I was of the previous ones. I think it was the way the story moved away from Cheris which I disliked from the story’s point of view — though introducing Hemiola as a main character went some way towards rectifying this. Shuos Jedao himself was plain annoying for most of the series. Overall, enjoyable, but no longer the giant the previous installments were.
It is very much a typical end-of-trilogy. We have our antihero who still survives — Hexarch Nirai Kujan — and we need to do something about that. And, of course, he wants to reintroduce his sense of propriety into the dealings. However, we don’t learn anything real about what the previous nine (!!!) years have meant for the liberated communities that were not under Kujan’s rule. This is especially a pity as the previous book was all about establishing a better system of government. The nine years that have passed should have made some progress towards it and we hear nearly nothing about that line of events.
Similarly, some of the abstractions that Mr Lee made in the course of this series became too much by the end of it. The style feels derived to obfuscate. Where one known word would do, he uses three of unclear meaning. While this works to create his own world which is not necessarily similar to ours, it also blurs the decisions his characters make in the course of the action here.