Beyond the Shadows

On one hand, it’s over. It’s a solid series with a lot of interesting world building that kept me turning pages right up to the end and managed to wrap up a surprising number of plotlines up into a huge final battle. If that’s all you’re looking for and you’ve already read the first two books, go ahead and read this one. It’s the first two books, only bigger.

On the other hand, I still don’t like Kylar. He’s too powerful almost without ill effect (other than the cost that finally gets revealed for coming back from the dead; that was a well deserved punch to the gut).

I liked Blint, but I still think he should have stayed dead. It would have been much harder for Kylar to come to terms with all his powers, but honestly, I think I would have preferred that.

Logan seems to have gotten over his time in the Hole fairly quickly and with no real ill effect. And on top of that, he ends the day with some sort of magical dragon powers that aren’t really explained and only sort of have any bearing on the story. A lot more could have been done there.

Plotwise, there are several large gaps where time skipped ahead and it felt like we were missing things. I felt like we were building towards a big final battle (which we were), but perhaps we could have dropped a few of those plotlines entirely in order to explore others?

For example: what in the world was up with Dorian’s arc? I liked him through the first two books, but he’s just absolutely twisted in this book. There’s something there about how power corrupts, but I don’t think it was explored nearly enough to allow for his fall, especially as a point of view character. And then at the end, he comes back so suddenly? Meh.

Worldbuildingwise, we finally got a few answers that I was looking for. Who is Khali and how does she work? (That was a cool twist). We learn a bit more about Kylar’s sword, the ka’kari in general, the black in specific, and about the Krul and related beasties. Of those, the last was rather interesting.

On the other hand, two things I would have liked to see a lot more about where the Chantry and Ezra’s Wood. For how core they are to the story, we really don’t see that much about them. For the former, you could have an entire series based around there and skip the too-powerful black ka’kari entirely for a few books. For the latter, it’s built up to this crazy thing and then … just sort of resolved off screen?

Overall, I’m glad I read the book. It certainly had some issues, but despite all of the above, I actually enjoyed it. I’m curious to see if Weeks’ other, later series keeps the good and works past some of the questionable parts.

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