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Title: Wrath of the Great Guilds
Series: Pillars of Reality #6
Author: Jack Campbell
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital edition
Mari and Alain must face the combined might of both Great Guilds and the Empire in an attempt to stave off the Storm of Destruction prophecied.
Dividing her army in parts, Mari sends the majority of it to another city and only takes a small force, but many great arms, with her to Dorcastle. There, she and Alain inspire the troops, unite the factions and fight off dragons and gatebuster bombs.
Dorcastle has 7 walls. Mari’s forces are pushed back to the final wall and are about to lose even that when the other army she had separated out arrives to rescue them, turn the tide and allow the Daughter of Jules a complete and utter victory.
Now Mari can allow her world to develop technologically and the first thing they do is use the world far speaker they found in an earlier book. And someone answers back.
Almost all of this book was the battle scene at Dorcastle. Close to 60% is my guess. It was great. Much like Minas Tirath’s 7 walls, Dorcastle provides plenty of room for lots of action. Mages and their dragons, Mechanics and their bombs, the Empire and their numberless cohorts, all fodder for the advanced weaponry Mari brings with her. It also showcases how she utilizes Mechanics, Mages and Commons, with all their various strengths and weaknesses. Alain’s vision of Mari is constantly at the forefront of his mind and Campbell never lets the reader forget it.
This is definitely young adult but I did appreciate the fact that Alain and Mari were married a book or two ago. The romance was there, but it wasn’t angsty, unsure love. It was growing, committed love that wasn’t based just on their feelings.
There were only 2 things I didn’t care for and I knocked off a 1/2star for each.
First, Campbell loves big, powerful, DUMB villains. Much like in his Lost Fleet series, where the 2 “official” sides do the same thing over and over and the main character Jack “Black” Geary, takes advantage, here we have the Heads of both the Mage’s Guild and the Mechanic’s Guild doing the same thing in the big battle that has NOT worked before against Mari and Alain. It just made the Guild leaders seem incredibly inept and stupid and you wonder how someone so dense got to the place of authority that they are in. Of course, it might have something to do with Campbell being a retired navy officer and perhaps reflects his actual experience with higher echelon officers. Pure speculation on my part though.
Second, no character development. It has taken me over 25 books of Campbell/Hemry to realize this (Lost Fleet, Lost Fleet:Beyond the Frontier, Lost Stars, JAG in Space, Stark’s War) so it kind of came as a shock to really realize that he can’t write growing characters beyond a certain point. It is the kind of writer he is and he needs to write accordingly. And now that I know this, I will also adjust my expectations accordingly.
Now I know I’ve highlighted the negatives mostly. But obviously, I’ve stuck with this 6 book series until the end and given the final book 4 stars. That does say a lot without me having to write a lot. Nothing in this book is going to make you feel that you wasted your time or overturn all the good in the previous books. This is a good solid book to end a good solid YA series.