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The Sun Sword, book #6 of The Sun Sword by Michelle West

Review by Mike 2004-02-13

The Sun Sword is the final chapter of Michelle Westís Sun Sword series, and I thought it was a satisfactory conclusion, even though perhaps not all the different plot lines were fully resolved.

As in the previous books of the series, some events take place in the northern Essalieyan Empire, but the main action is concentrated to the Dominion of Annagar in the south, where the struggle for overlordship between Alesso diíMarente and Valedan kai diíLeonne has to be settled at the same time as the threat from the Lord of Night and his minions is met. Throughout the series Iíve found this country, inspired by Japanese warrior ideals, more interesting than the somewhat standard fantasy world in the north. Westís writing style, which has been improving steadily over the years, works better in this setting, and she manages to bring its lords and ladies to life more easily than the house members and mages of the Empire.

The size of the cast is impressive, but although it can occasionally be difficult to keep up with all the characters, I find it more manageable than in gigantic series like The Wheel of Time. Still, the sheer volume of characters and plot lines, combined with Westís thorough prose, seem to have made certain compromises unavoidable. After finishing the book I had the distinct impression that she had been forced to cut out parts to fit everything into one book, leaving a few loose ends. (Maybe those will be treated in a sequel?) Though that does bring down the grade a bit, The Sun Sword lives up to the cover text as ďthe long-awaited conclusion to this acclaimed seriesĒ. I award it 4 amulets.

The Sun Sword
The Broken Crown
The Uncrowned King
The Shining Court
Sea of Sorrows
The Riven Shield
The Sun Sword

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