Those Below by Daniel Polansky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was right! It is a complete story! Well, it shouldn't be that surprising with names like Those Above and Those Below. :) And the blow-out? Lots of machinations, political intrigue from Eudokia (I absolutely love her), and WAR.
We knew it was coming. And it was very satisfying when it came. And the end? LOL. Not saying. But I was satisfied as hell.
Still, I was slightly off. It takes up 2 years after the first novel and things have been progressing and simmering. I suppose that's fine for the sake of action. :)
I still love the writing and the amount of depth in the world building. I love the way he gets behind the scenes and develops both sides of the conflict. I can't say that the four-fingered are gods. Not really. But I can tell you that I love getting to know and love them as much as the poor oppressed five-fingered. :)
How to compare it with most fantasy? Well, I'm reluctant. Polansky has a very gritty style, but he doesn't shirk the posh. And best of all, he makes all the characters ambiguous. Whether story-wise or morally. A lot of authors can say that, of course, but Polansky's style is rather unique and careful. He always takes his time to take us exactly where he wants us, and then he blows us away with fantastic fights and plot twists.
*two thumbs up* It's solid as hell. It's the reason I never refuse an opportunity to read his stuff. He's been consistently great.
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