Today's book review is When Darkness Falls by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.
This book finally brings The Obsidian Trilogy, which began with The Outstretched Shadow and continued with To Light A Candle, to its conclusion. I would not recommend trying to read this volume by itself; the ongoing characters and their situations are for the most part not recapitulated.
The trilogy as a whole is a fairly impressive piece of worldbuilding. It is frustrating that some of the foundations are so terribly cliché, because by this volume we've really gotten past the fluffy pure unicorns, inscrutable elves, and over-the-top gratuitously evil demons. It's a complex story with exciting battles, interesting magic, and characters that manage to matter, and we're actually able to worry about whether the important characters will make it through or whether the Light will actually win. There are a couple of real surprises along the way, and it's actually satisfying when a couple of other things that were obviously coming come together.
I enjoyed it more than I had either of the first two volumes. It is a bit long, and you have to be able to tolerate the painful clichés long enough for the good stuff to build up. But I found it quite satisfying in the end. 9 out of 10.
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