Some of you may have noticed that The Speculative Scotsman looks quite a bit different today than it did. If you haven't, don't click through from your feed readers just yet! I'm hoping to spend some more time with the new design soon, and I'll be sure to ask you all for your thoughts just as soon as I'm 100% finished with my fiddling, or as close to 100% as I can get without everyone's input.
As a matter of fact I only mention it by way of explanation, which is to say yesterday, I, uh... fiddled with the blog instead of actually blogging, so this review is going to have to go without the usual preamble. It's of Kings of Morning, of course - the third and final volume of the magnificent Macht saga - and it's up now on tor.com.
Here's a bite-sized bit from it:
In an ingenious inversion of The Ten Thousand, Kings of Morning begins on the other side of the divide. Not with the Macht, as they march into death or glory – or both – but with the Kufr; with the Great King Ashurnan, his conniving wife Orsana, and their three children, Rahksar, Roshana and Kouros, who are of course at odds with one another over the very diadem Corvus aims to take. Only some 125 pages later does Kearney give us a glimpse of the invading army readers have become intimately familiar with, and even then, we are as often with the ostensible enemy as we are in amongst Corvus’ colossal company, mired in the osthimos of war.
For a time it feels strange, this sudden, if not utterly unsurprising shift in perspective – and at the beginning of the end, no less – but Kearney is canny enough to understand that the impact of the behemothic last battle Kings of Morning builds inexorably towards will be all the more keenly felt, whichever way things tip, if readers come to care about the individuals it is destined to affect. After all, to paraphrase one of our generation’s great thinkers, the death of one is a tragedy, whereas the death of many tens of thousands is just a statistic.
And so, though a major note resounds throughout, it is in the minor key that Kings of Morning succeeds most meaningfully.
Please do click on through to tor.com for the rest of the review, and leave a comment if you can.
I'll have another thing about the Macht saga tomorrow. A conclusion of sorts, as is proper. But other than that, and the results of the giveaway - which is still going, and going strong - this is the end, my friends. And as sorry as I am to see it, for once in my life I can leave behind my cynical side and say: what an incredible ending!