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Destiny by Elizabeth Haydon

Review by SS

Spoilers for Rhapsody and Prophecy!

This is the final book in this series. The ending of Prophecy had Rhapsody and Achmed determined to find the human children of the F'dor, and both save the kids and extract the blood of the F'dor so that Achmed could track it.

Like the previous two books, there are a lot of events in this book. Although this does add interest via variety, I felt that it detracted from the book, as I'd prefer to follow one or two characters than a whole range of PoVs. I think it should have followed Rhapsody, Achmed and Grunthor only, rather than Ashe and assorted minor characters.

Because I read this book after I'd read the first two Tawny Man books by Robin Hobb instead of straight after reading Rhapsody and Prophecy (I had to order this one), I felt it contrasted unfavourably against Hobb's books. The concepts and writing of Haydon, while solid, and a good read, seem rather childish compared to Hobb's work. I got the feeling that someone new to fantasy, perhaps a young adult, would better enjoy this series.

I read one editorial review at Amazon.com which said that the ending was, unlike that of many other series, a satisfying one. I have to disagree. 50-odd pages out from the end, and I had no idea what the climax was supposed to be. Instead of one significant event, there were several smaller ones, which took the impact out of it, because I was constantly wondering whether the real climax was going to happen on the next page. While it did deal with most of the characters, the fate of some were unmentioned, and it did not really provide closure for me. The epilogue was especially unsatisfying. However, I think Haydon has started a new series starring Rhapsody and co. so more will probably be explained there.

My favourite character is again Achmed, and apart from one scene at the end of the book (which I thought was great, and boded well for a new series), I thought he was ignored a bit too often, being brought into the storyline only in a perfunctory way.

Rhapsody must be the biggest Mary-Sue ever! She is so incredibly perfect. She's so beautiful she causes people to lose temporary (or long term) sanity. But she has no idea of her beauty - oh, no, she assumes she must be some kind of freak because people keep staring at her. She's a perfect warrior, a talented musician, a Namer, always willing to believe the best of people, generous, willing to suffer bravely for others, naive, beloved by all...etc etc. Rhapsody as a character is generally very annoying because she is so perfect, and one of the reasons I believe it'd be suited for a younger audience.

This book was a good read, but not a brilliant one, especially after reading Hobb. If I'd read it straight after Rhapsody and Prophecy I probably would have given it 4 out of 5 amulets, but I'm giving it, and the series overall, 3.5 out of 5 amulets.


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