Select one of the keywords
The Sun Sword: Book Six    by Michelle West order for
Sun Sword
by Michelle West
Order:  USA  Can
Daw, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The front cover designates The Sun Sword as the conclusion to one of my favorite fantasy series, set in a sophisticated universe, in which 'god-born' and demons walk alongside humans from very different cultures. But it can't really be the end, as the book leaves too many fates hanging. What this episode does is to resolve the main plot thread, involving Valedan kai di'Leone, Serra Diora, the Sun Sword itself, and the battle for the Dominion. It takes the series to a major plateau, but surely the author plans more action in this fascinating world, just as she set her earlier Sacred Hunt stories in it.

In the male dominated South, we see the reconciliation of the Lambertan and Callestan Lords with each other and with Northern commanders, as events build up to a huge battle fought between men and demons. Humans win, at high cost, through half-demon Kiriel's powers and a key intervention by Diora, the Flower of the Dominion, who sings a lullaby. We see Ser Alesso's downfall and Valedan's full acceptance by the South and by Diora, despite misunderstandings and his weak Northern qualities. It's a very satisfying conclusion to the main storyline of the series, as the delicate, iron-willed Diora finally puts aside the thirst for vengeance that has driven her actions for so long, and Valedan wins his birthright.

One major sub-plot also moves forward, that is the Northern story of House Terafin, in which Jewel's den members have become major players. Death, treachery, and demonic involvement finally lead to the death of The Terafin herself and a desperate call for Jewel's return to take up her mantle. Though we see Jewel back in Averalaan, the author leaves her there. More is hinted at, when the Terafin spirit tells The Terafin, 'of the one who serves you, I ask a greater task', but we're left hanging. Readers also wonder about Margret and the Arkosans, Elena's ties to the demon Telakar, what Lord Isladar wants from Kiriel, and what will happen when Mad Anya next meets Auralis, amongst a myriad of other questions about characters we have grown to care for.

I have compared Michelle West's creation before to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, and it's beginning to suffer from the same complexity and neverending quality. But I suppose a real universe wouldn't stop either, only a book has to have an ending. If you like your stories simple, then this series is not for you, but if you're willing to put the effort in, you'll discover a brilliant creation, which I hope will continue.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews