The Diamond Warriors by David Zindell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is probably the best (and last) of the series, ending on a very high note, indeed.
It took a long time to build to this point, but now that the two armies are gathering, and have gathered, to clash in a truly epic struggle for the soul of all worlds, I truly have nothing bad to say about the series.
It's bloody and emotional but the end is also very life-affirming. That's not something we see all that much in modern epic fantasy. And it isn't strained, either. It's genuinely good. :)
I should mention that I really don't expect anything other than that from Zindell after reading his Requiem series, but let's be honest here: this series isn't as good as the other. The other is a VERY high bar to set, however, and these books don't suffer in comparison with any other epic fantasy currently floating out there.
Yes, the tropes are well-worn. Yes, the quest, the army-building, the quest again, the army-building again gives us the most basic of fantasy templates. But HOW Zindell does it, what he accomplishes with it, is up there with the original Arthurian legends. As epic, as soul-searching, as fraught with treachery and tragedy.
But UNLIKE the Arthurian legends, this one has an all-out happy Hollywood ending. :)
Zindell sticks to this landing like a champ and I'm quite satisfied. :)
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