Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Grand Crusade (Dragoncrown War Cycle: Book 3) by Michael Stackpole

The hope of the future, Will Norrington, prophesied to bring down the northern tyrant Chytrine and redeem the world, is said to be dead, lost in the heart of a fiery volcano. The news has thrown the Council of Kings into a furor and drained the spirit from once united factions. As questions swirl about as to Will's legacy, and even his identity, one thing is clear: a divided alliance lacks power. And this may be exactly the opening Chytrine needs to seize control-and capture the empowering artifact, the DragonCrown-once and for all. Still, Will's friends and comrades remain true to his cause, preparing to continue the fight. Among them is the Vilwanese hero, Kerrigan Reese, and Alyx, groomed to lead an army. Sayce, pregnant with Will's child, must remain behind as the new custodian of the Norrington future in case they fail. But even as they draw up battle plans, with the enemy nearer than they think, a shattering betrayal-and a stunning revelation-may change the course of everything. *Blurb source Spectra
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The Grand Crusade (Dragoncrown War Cycle: Book 3) by Michael Stackpole
| Author: Michael A. Stackpole
| Content: Military, Dragons, Adult
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0553578510
| ISBN-13: 978-0553578515
| Publisher: Spectra; First Thus edition (August 31, 2004)
| Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars
| Excerpt

♥ Mini Review ♥
The time has come to fulfill the prophecy. The self-serving politics, fear, and greed of their own people stand in their way but our heroes are determined to eradicate Chytrine and her armies, with or without the support of the crown heads. The drama is intense, and the suspense is brutal because there is much that must be resolved before the final battle of good versus evil can take place. Everyone involved in the prophecy has to face difficult choices, make heartrending sacrifices and no one will remain unchanged.

Epic Fantasy Book Review by Mulluane

I have been spending the afternoon trying to figure out why something felt slightly off about this last book. The action was good, there were surprises, twists and turns to savor, I cannot think of any loose ends that are not resolved but something failed to leave me satisfied.

Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed it, it was a great book, and a fast read. I had a stake in the characters and truly wanted to know how everything turned out. Granted, as with any prophecy driven book, you know how it will end, good wins and evil loses, but the joy is in the journey taken to reach that goal. I am not sure; maybe it is the fate of The Norrington that bothers me, that did not strike a realistic cord with me. However, I am not going to give any detail about that, you will just have to read it and form your own opinion.

That being said, other, then the iffy feeling I had upon finishing the book, I really did enjoy it. The characters have pretty much done all of the developing they are going to do so the focus goes back onto the story itself. The romance lovers will be pleased for the most part, the military folks will get plenty of blood and gore combined with detailed strategy, the magic lovers will be thrilled and the dragon enthusiasts will probably be a bit disappointed but dragons rarely play a major role anyway. There is a lot of viewpoint jumping but that is understandable as the various characters all have different roles to play. I was actually pleased with how all the loose ends were tied up; including those I really thought would be left hanging. Michael A. Stackpole writes one heck of an epic adventure.

One thing that I have not touched on in previous reviews, and I likely should have, is the creatures. Michael Stackpole does an excellent job of describing the many creatures created by Chytrine and the inhabitants of the world. They cover a wide variety, some charming, some grotesque and all were believable. It is abundantly obvious that Stackpole put a lot of thought, planning, research, and imagination into this story. Rarely have I enjoyed such a delightful balance of detail with imagination without all those "Well you know Bob" moments that make me want to smack an author. He does not try to disguise an info dump as some inane conversation between two people that would have never taken place in any real world. Instead, for example, he dives into the head of one of the commanders, describing what he or she sees or follows the internal analyzing that the person does as they view a battlefield or plan a strategy. He does this in a way that feels completely natural and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I have mentioned it before but it bears repeating, regardless of the young age the characters start out as, I do not believe this series was aimed at a younger audience. The violence is gory, the love scenes are descriptive, but do fall short of being X-rated, and the internal conflicts strike me as being of an adult nature. The pace can be intense at times and the battle scenes are very detailed in both strategy and execution. Of course, that is my opinion; I offer it only as a general guideline. This a great series with awesome writing, characters you can identify with and detail will amaze even a non-military lover. This world is, in my opinion, well worth the price of admission.

Series Summary
Other books in the series

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Librarything Rating 3.61/5

Amazon Rating 3.7 out of 5 stars
(23 Customer Reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: The Grand Crusade: Book Three of the DragonCrown War Cycle


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Book Review of The Grand Crusade (Dragoncrown War Cycle: Book 3) by Michael Stackpole - Reviewed by Mulluane - on October 23, 2008 - Rating: 5.0

Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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