Prince of Storms


I've said it before and I'll say it again: Kay Kenyon's The Entire and the Rose is one of the very best ongoing science fiction series on the market today. Indeed, the author has raised the bar rather high with Bright of the Sky, A World Too Near, and City Without End, and I was eager to discover how Kenyon would close the show. Especially with the way City Without End was brought to an end.

I loved the fact that Kenyon wastes no time revisiting plot threads or slowing down the rhythm of the book with info dumps to reacquaint readers with the various storylines. The first three volumes were enough of a setup, and the author picks up the action shortly following the events of the previous installment.

Here's the blurb:

Finally in control of the Ascendancy, Titus Quinn has styled himself Regent of the Entire. But his command is fragile. He rules an empire with a technology beyond human understanding; spies lurk in the ancient Magisterium; the Tarig overlords are hamstrung but still malevolent. Worse, his daughter Sen Ni opposes him for control, believing the Earth and its Rose universe must die to sustain the failing Entire. She is aided by one of the mystical pilots of the River Nigh, the space-time transport system. This navitar, alone among all others, can alter future events. He retires into a crystal chamber in the Nigh to weave reality and pit his enemies against each other.

Taking advantage of these chaotic times, the great foe of the Long War, the Jinda ceb Horat, create a settlement in the Entire. Masters of supreme technology, they maintain a lofty distance from the Entire's struggle. They agree, however, that the Tarig must return to the fiery Heart of their origins. With the banishment immanent, some Tarig lords rebel, fleeing to hound the edges of Quinn's reign.

Meanwhile, Quinn's wife Anzi becomes a hostage and penitent among the Jinda ceb, undergoing alterations that expose their secrets, but may estrange her from her husband. As Quinn moves toward a confrontation with the dark navitar, he learns that the stakes of the conflict go far beyond the Rose versus the Entire—extending to a breathtaking dominance. The navitar commands forces that lie at the heart of the Entire's geo-cosmology, and will use them to alter the calculus of power. As the navitar's plan approaches consummation, Quinn, Sen Ni, and Anzi are swept up in forces that will leave them forever changed.

In this rousing finale to Kenyon's celebrated quartet, Titus Quinn meets an inevitable destiny, forced at last to make the unthinkable choice for or against the dictates of his heart, for or against the beloved land.

City Without End moved the plot like never before, taking the series to new heights. The Entire and the Rose turned out to be a complex tapestry of storylines, as well as a multilayered blend of fantasy and science fiction. And Kay Kenyon brings it all together for an enthralling finale in Prince of Storms.

In the past, the worldbuilding proved to be the most absorbing facet of this series. But with all her pieces now on the board, Kenyon can simply concentrate on bringing the disparate plotlines together and tying up the loose ends. As such, Prince of Storms is a veritable conclusion which brings this series to another level. There is room for sequels, certainly, but once you've read the epilogue you realize that the whole story has been told.

As was the case in the first three books, the author has a tendency to jump from one POV to the next in any given scene. These POV shifts without any break in the narrative used to be offputting, but I guess one gets used to it as the series progresses. Still, sometimes you need to read a paragraph or two before you realize that you are no longer in the same character's head.

My favorite aspect of Prince of Storms was the characterization. I liked how Kenyon created a good balance between the POVs of the three main characters: Quinn, Anzi, and Sen Ni. There are a surprising number of unexpected twists and turns involving secondary characters such as Geng De, Lord Inweer, and the Jinda ceb Horat. Seeing events unfold through various perspectives makes for a thoroughly satisfying reading experience.

A rich, vivid environment; complex and multilayered storytelling; genuine and interesting characters; brilliant execution; that's The Entire and the Rose in a nutshell.

Prince of Storms is the perfect conclusion to what could well be one of the most ambitious and fascinating ongoing scifi series out there.

Highly recommended. . .

The final verdict: 8.25/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

15 commentaires:

ediFanoB said...

This year I want to read some Sci-Fi books. So far following books are on my list: Crossover by Joel Shepherd, Hyperion by Dan Simmons and Seeds of Earth by Mike Cobley. After reading your good review it seems I should have to add The Entire and the Rose series.

KP said...

Really liked Bright of the Sky when it first came out. Bought A World too Near and City Without End when they were released but held off reading them until Prince of Storms was imminent.
Half way through A World too Near now.
Hoping to get the Prince of Storms before I finish the third...tick, tick, tick

Louise said...

This is the most awesome worldbuilding I've ever seen. A fabulous series that has gotten wonderful reviews and deserves more attention.

Jebus said...

Plan on reading it when it's all out in MMPB. At the moment even the first book in MMPB is too expesnive - twice the price of others on bookdepository.

Patrick said...

As far as I know, there are no plans to release these books in mass market paperback format. Trade paperback, yes, but no other edition...

dining room tables said...

Nice review. I would like to read this but I think it wouldn't be released in the market for mass distribution.

.scott said...

I hated, hated, hated the first book. It is piss poorly written (and I am being generous) and jumps around between POVs like a meth addicted lemur and there uis barely any description that makes any sense or is distinct....oh, and did I mention nothing happens action-wise and the main character is a whiney little jerk who, instead of getting a weapon, and making his way to find his daughter and wife he waits and play by the alien's rules....eff that, get off your keister and DO something! Oh man I wanted to throw this book across the room.

Where the love for it comes from, or why folk keep mentioning how awesome the world building is I will never understand. The author doesn't flesh out ANY aspect other than to be purposely vague and abstract...constantly. And anything that can pass for dialogue is stilted and broken.

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