|Submitted by Christopher Ware|
(May 15, 2001)
(Journeys of the Catachist, Book 3) This is the concluding book of the JOURNEYS OF THE CATECHIST trilogy, the first two being CARNIVORES OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS and INTO THE THINKING KINGDOMS. As with the first two books, this was a light, enjoyable read that provided a satisfying conclusion to the series. There isn't much difference in the storytelling between the previous books and this one. The characters still run into one obstacle after another and always miraculously overcome it uitlizing some gift from Etjole's backpack. Still, it is a fun journey and I enjoyed the climax of the story. It was definitely unexpected. Again, though, I have to voice my complaint of the dearth of character development. I have never seen four more static characters in all the fantasy I have read. I wouldn't expect for Etjole or Alitah to change much, but I had high expectations for Simna. He could have developed into a more interesting character than the treasure seeking person that he is. Not that he's a bad person, but, rather, he seems to have only a one track mind. Unfortunately, this never changes throughout the three books, despite the fact that Mr. Foster put him in several situations that should have had a serious impact on his character. Unfortunately, the author chose not to take advantage of these opportunities. One thing I thoroughly enjoyed were the chapters on Hymneth, the antagonist of the story. Mr. Foster completely redeems himself from the cliched first chapter of INTO THE THINKING KINGDOMS in which we got our first glimpse of our villain. Hymneth is revealed to be a rather interesting character with different motivations than most fantasy villains. We get the quick version of the story of his life and we...well, I'll leave it to you to read the book. I don't want to ruin anything. Suffice it to say, the ending of the book is a unique twist on fantasy story resolution. All in all, I truly enjoyed reading this series. Etjole is a very intersting character and his journeys through distant lands and the characters he meets there are truly fascinating. The storytelling is a bit repetetive at times and the characters can be infuriatingly static, but it is a romping adventure that is different than most epic fantasy out there today.