I finished Carol Berg's Revelation last night. This was another good book in the Rai-kirah series. Thankfully, the cover art wasn’t repulsive, as was the case with the previous installment.
The Bad: The middle portion of the book. The protagonist, Seyonne, is convinced that the key to knowledge he is searching for lies somewhere within the genesis of the demon war. He decides to descend into Kir’Vagonoth, the demon world stronghold. Once there, Seyonne is captured, tortured and enchanted. Through a long and excessively winding trail, he ultimately comes to the knowledge, and position in the story, that makes the ending possible.
To me, it seemed as though the author had clearly envisioned what the story was to be about. As a result of the first book, the author already had a starting point for this plot. The ending for Revelation was clearly well thought out and planned. It was that middle portion of the book that had the author stringing the reader through a desensitizing level of back and forth between the protagonist and the demons that left this reader impatient and bemoaning the convolutions and contortions involved. The connection of the plot threads from the beginning of the book, to those at the end, was truly laborious.
The Good: This book has one of the best endings I’ve encountered. In fact, the ending was so heavy, that I’m going to switch off the Rai-kirah series for at least one book to get a ‘breather.’ The protagonist is left victorious and destroyed all at once. The cause for which he fights is well served, yet his own personal life, physically or otherwise, is in shambles. While he will clearly convalesce, he will never be the same. The circumstances of his near execution by his own people at the end, is heart-breaking. Who would want to live after that?
Before I finish Berg’s Rai-kirah series, I’m going to read The Adamantine Palace, by Stephen Deas.