Every September I somehow wind up reading a crummy fantasy sequel. I realized early on that Queen of Fire was not going to bring me any sort of interest or joy, that Anthony Ryan had abandoned the tropes and groundwork he had laid in the earlier books, that the story had a dreary disconnect between characters that cast a pall over the whole novel, and yet I read on, hoping there would be some glimmer of reward at its end.
To describe its plot is to grant it more grace and coherence than it deserves. I'm just disappointed that he took the momentum in building interesting characters and squandered it on this final volume. I wonder if he knew it wasn't quite up to the same standards? Authors rarely admit such things. Perhaps he just wanted to be done with this, having a new and better idea in mind for his next book. Thing is, I won't be reading that one.