Barbara Hambly – The Armies of Daylight

Rounding out the trilogy with a rousing conclusion, The Armies of Daylight largely delivers. I don’t expect a major plot twist half way through the final book of a trilogy, but it worked well and made the final stretch a darker, more foreboding ride.

The focus in this instalment is back on the politics. With uneasy allies camped under one roof, it can only be a matter of time until the survivors of the Dark turn on one another. Can the Alketch, the Church, the wizards and the Chancellor hold the peace long enough to invade the heart of the Dark and reclaim the capital? The creeping menace and shifting alliances made for gripping reading, along with many opportunities for wanting to shout ‘he’s BEHIND you!’. While several elements remain predictable, the journey to conclusion (including the terrifying expedition through the Nest of the Dark under the capital) was rewarding in its own right.

As an aside, I am a little irritated that
SPOILER (mouse over to read)
Gil and Ingold got together; the more so as it allowed for a sequence in which Gil appeared ‘too weak’ to put down a perceived threat, having otherwise been entirely awesome.

However, I can’t complain about the characters for the most part – this can easily be upheld as a brilliant example of several different kinds of strong women that in no way reduces the opportunities for strong, brilliant men.

In retrospect, it felt like we never left Rudy’s POV in this final installment, which bothered me a little as I preferred the alternation of previous books. It wasn’t that I was more emotionally engaged by Gil (she’s too aloof for that), but I preferred her way of looking at the world.

Highly recommended. I’ll certainly be visiting other Hambly works in the future.