I will start off by saying SPOILER ALERT. There I was kind.
I have been reading ‘The Change’ series since its beginning in ‘Dies the Fire’. I found the premise of the world coming to an end and how the people decided to pick themselves up and start up again intriguing and I enjoyed very much the characters introduced. This book is the 9th book in the direct series and it is better than a few of its predecessors by far. There had been some complaints in some of the previous books that there was a lot of walking around by the characters and nothing really happened or changed in the story. While I personally did not find this to be a big of a problem as others have said, I did have to agree that the length of the book did not move the story along.
This was NOT the case in this book in the least. The Prophet’s War finally came to its conclusion with pretty much everyone alive and breathing at the end. The evil prophet, Setharz, I think I have that spelled correctly is dispatched by Rudi, it was a little anticlimactical for all of the buildup for all the other stories/books but it did end. It was a little sad that towards the end of the book Sandra Arminger passes away from old age, nothing hugely climatic there, but she has been such a huge focus of the stories that it was a bit of a surprise, I half way wondered if she was going to be assassinated at some point by some sword wielding CUT member.
Princess Orlaith is introduced as Rudi’s and Mattie’s oldest child and we see snippets of her growing up and some politics in the background. I appreciated that there were ‘year jumps’ where we didn’t have to read through decisions about where to plant trees, move people about, and have a daily running of the kingdom. We saw Rudi as a wise leader and pretty much the super hero type of character that he had been in all the other books with a very cool magical sword. The sword doesn’t heal, he can’t fly with it but it does give him an awareness of the world and the ability to speak languages which for a leader is never a bad thing.
Rudi’s death scene was a bit predetermined by the setup you almost had the feeling you knew what was coming. Orlaith was finally old enough, she was fighting in her first real battle, they said some nice words to one another and then the really big outside the universe guy makes his re-appearance by saying the fateful words of “I…see…you…” and Rudi gets killed by an arrow as had been spoken about in earlier books.
There are people living in Japan we find out with this story, Orlaith is given the ‘Sword of the Lady’ and her own story line is now ready to start.
I heartily enjoyed this book, I checked it out from the local library and am looking forward to getting the next one which I see is on the shelf just waiting for me.
Thank you S.M. Stirling!