An Apprentice to Elves

An Apprentice to Elves - Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette So, book 3.

Apparently once you have taken your first castle, you take a bit of a break. Seems about right, taking off 12 years in the middle of an invasion to...what? Wait for the protagonist to grow up?

I don't know, I just don't know. I liked this book while I was reading it, swept away by the gorgeous writing (and it is gorgeous) but at the same time, I also hated it.

The worst part is that if this book had been part of a duology, with Tempering basically cut in half and stuck into the books on either side, I probably would have liked it much more. It's as though my negative feelings about the previous book influenced this one, and now I'm just sad about the whole thing.

Add to that that I'm not a big fan of Alfgyfa, who is as whiny as Isolfr at his best, or the alfir, who are enormous assholes, and this really wasn't the book for me.

Plot-wise, the book isn't bad. Things happen, and the book is exciting and keeps pulling you along for the ride, helped by the hypnotically beautiful writing.

That ending, though. Really, guys? This is what you're going to go with? I get that you couldn't save the North any other way, but if the choice is between the ending you chose and the tragic death of the entire way of life of the people of the North...well, you picked the wrong option.

TL:DR: I was very, very disappointed with this book, but that may have been a function of my very high expectations considering who its authors are.